LMC S154 is a symbiotic recurrent nova, study suggests

phys.org | 2/21/2019 | Staff
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Spectral variability of LMC S154. Credit: Iłkiewicz et al., 2019.

Astronomers have conducted observations of a symbiotic star in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), known as LMC S154, which provide new insights about the nature of this object. Results of these observations, presented in a paper published February 7 on arXiv.org, suggest that LMC S154 is a symbiotic recurrent nova—the first such object identified in Magellanic Clouds.

Stars - SySts - Interacting - Binaries - Mass

Symbiotic stars (SySts) are in general long-period interacting binaries consisting of an evolved giant transferring mass to a hot compact object – usually a late-sequence red giant providing material to a white dwarf. One type of SySts are symbiotic novae (SyNe) in which white dwarfs experience thermonuclear explosions on their surface. When these outburst occur in SyNe more than once, astronomers classify such objects as symbiotic recurrent novae (SyRNe).

SyRNe are extremely rare and to date only four objects of this subclass have been detected. One potential candidate for a new SyRN is LMC S154, an X-ray source in the LMC classified as an SySt. Although previous studies of LMC S154 show that its variability resembles that of symbiotic novae, its SyNe status still remains unconfirmed. This is mainly due to the significant gap in photometric observations of LMC S154 ranging from 1950s to 1980s, and also due to lack of studies of this source in its quiescence.

Order - Nature - LMC - S154 - Group

In order to clarify the nature of LMC S154, a group of astronomers led by Krystian Iłkiewicz of Nicolaus Copernicus Astronomical Center in Poland has conducted photometric and spectroscopic monitoring of this binary with the main aim of determining the timescales of its variability. Results from this observational campaign and analysis of archival data allowed the scientists to identify with the most confidence three outbursts from the studied object.

"In this work, we study the possible evidence for the nova...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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