AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 19 Cataclysmic Variable Stars
Poster, Monday, January 10, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[19.21] Searching for Past Outbursts of Recurrent Novae

P.B. Robinson (Vassar College), G.C. Clayton (Louisiana State University)

Recurrent Novae (RNe) are currently one of the leading candidates for systems that are Type Ia Supernovae (SNe) progenitors. Given the importance of Type Ia SNe as ‘Standard Candles’ for cosmology, it is important to know as much as possible about these systems, especially in order to calculate how the expected lower metallicity affects the peak luminosity in very distant (early Universe) Type Ia SNe. In the summer of 2004, a search for past outbursts of three known RNe, CI Aql, V1017 SGR, and V3890 SGR, was conducted using the digitized plates at the Maria Mitchell Observatory on Nantucket, MA. The plates cover the years 1913-1995. It was hoped that the search would refine the outburst frequency for these systems. No eruptions were discovered, but the rich coverage of the plates significantly reduce the likelihood of V1017 Sgr having an outburst between 1958 and 1995. Furthermore, V3890 SGR was observed to have short term variability during quiescence, with the B magnitude randomly varying between 15.4 and fainter than 16.7 (the plate limit). In addition to the RNe outburst search, BS Sgr and V1016 Sgr, classical Novae (CNe) that are RNe candidates were subjected to a search for unknown past outbursts. No such outbursts were found. This project was supported by NSF/REU grant AST-0097694 and the Nantucket Maria Mitchell Association.

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© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.