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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[19.09] Spitzer Space Telescope Spectroscopy of Old Novae

L.A. Helton, C.E. Woodward, R.D. Gehrz, E. Polomski (University of Minnesota)

Novae are important contributors to the energtics and abundance variations on local scales in a galaxy and provide insight into binary systems. The temporal evolution of these transient events provides insight into physical processes of the outburst and the interaction of the expanding ejecta with the local ISM. The evolution of nova systems between outbursts is of considerable interest as it is determined by the cooling of the white dwarf and the dispersal of the ejected material. The bulk of the infrared work on novae has been on the immediate aftermath (\lesssim 5 yrs) of the nova explosion, when the ejecta are spatially unresolved. The subsequent decline towards the pre-eruption phase is, in view of the nature of nova systems, largely studied at short (\lesssim optical) wavelengths: by and large novae become too faint for ground-based infrared spectroscopy in the mid- to long-term. However this situation has changed completely with the availability of the Spitzer Space Telescope. Here we present Spitzer Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) observations from 5-40 \micron of five old (post-outburst) classical novae (V1500 Cyg, V1668 Cyg, V1974 Cyg, V382 Vel, V1494 Aql) and two dwarf novae (EF Eri, LL And) and discuss line identifications, late evolutionary characteristics, and modelling of the spectral energy distributions (SEDs).

Support for the authors was provided by NASA through contracts 1256406 and 1215746 issued by JPL/Caltech.

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© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.