AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 159 Novae, CVs, Blue Stragglers, and GRB Cosmography
Oral, Thursday, January 13, 2005, 10:00-11:30am, Royal Palm 4-6

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[159.01] Direct Imaging of a Large Dwarf Nova Shell

M.M. Shara (American Museum Nat. History), C.D. Martin, M. Seibert (Caltech), D. Schiminovich (Columbia University), C. Delyannis, A.R. Sarrazine (Indiana University), G. Jacoby (WIYN), N. Brosch (Tel-Aviv University), D. Zurek, O. De Marco (American Museum Nat. History), R.M. Rich (UCLA)

Despite the spectrographic evidence for wind-driven mass loss from erupting dwarf novae, almost no visible shells surrounding these systems have ever been detected. Theory predicts that the white dwarfs in all dwarf novae must eventually accrete enough mass to undergo classical nova eruptions, but not a single dwarf nova has ever been shown to have undergone a classical nova eruption. Here we report observations that show a huge gas shell around a nearby prototypical dwarf nova. The shell is an order of magnitude more extended than any ever detected around any classical nova. The derived shell mass matches that of classical novae, and is inconsistent with the mass expected from a steady dwarf nova wind.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 5
© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.