The distance to nova V959 Mon from VLA imaging

J. D. Linford, V. A.R.M. Ribeiro, L. Chomiuk, T. Nelson, J. L. Sokoloski, M. P. Rupen, K. Mukai, T. J. O'Brien, A. J. Mioduszewski, J. Weston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Determining reliable distances to classical novae is a challenging but crucial step in deriving their ejected masses and explosion energetics. Here we combine radio expansion measurements from the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array with velocities derived from optical spectra to estimate an expansion parallax for nova V959 Mon, the first nova discovered through its γ-ray emission. We spatially resolve the nova at frequencies of 4.5-36.5 GHz in nine different imaging epochs. The first five epochs cover the expansion of the ejecta from 2012 October to 2013 January, while the final four epochs span 2014 February-May. These observations correspond to days 126 through 199 and days 615 through 703 after the first detection of the nova. The images clearly show a non-spherical ejecta geometry. Utilizing ejecta velocities derived from three-dimensional modeling of optical spectroscopy, the radio expansion implies a distance between 0.9 ± 0.2 and 2.2 ± 0.4 kpc, with a most probable distance of 1.4 ± 0.4 kpc. This distance implies a γ-ray luminosity of erg s-1, which is much less than the prototype γ-ray-detected nova, V407 Cyg, possibly due to the lack of a red giant companion in the V959 Mon system. V959 Mon also has a much lower γ-ray luminosity than other classical novae detected in γ-rays to date, indicating a range of at least a factor of 10 in the γ-ray luminosities for these explosions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number136
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume805
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2015

Fingerprint

ejecta
rays
explosion
radio
novae
three-dimensional modeling
expansion
luminosity
time measurement
erg
explosions
energetics
spectroscopy
geometry
Very Large Array (VLA)
parallax
optical spectrum
prototypes
estimates

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Linford, J. D., Ribeiro, V. A. R. M., Chomiuk, L., Nelson, T., Sokoloski, J. L., Rupen, M. P., ... Weston, J. (2015). The distance to nova V959 Mon from VLA imaging. Astrophysical Journal, 805(2), [136]. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/805/2/136
Linford, J. D. ; Ribeiro, V. A.R.M. ; Chomiuk, L. ; Nelson, T. ; Sokoloski, J. L. ; Rupen, M. P. ; Mukai, K. ; O'Brien, T. J. ; Mioduszewski, A. J. ; Weston, J. / The distance to nova V959 Mon from VLA imaging. In: Astrophysical Journal. 2015 ; Vol. 805, No. 2.
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Linford, JD, Ribeiro, VARM, Chomiuk, L, Nelson, T, Sokoloski, JL, Rupen, MP, Mukai, K, O'Brien, TJ, Mioduszewski, AJ & Weston, J 2015, 'The distance to nova V959 Mon from VLA imaging', Astrophysical Journal, vol. 805, no. 2, 136. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/805/2/136

The distance to nova V959 Mon from VLA imaging. / Linford, J. D.; Ribeiro, V. A.R.M.; Chomiuk, L.; Nelson, T.; Sokoloski, J. L.; Rupen, M. P.; Mukai, K.; O'Brien, T. J.; Mioduszewski, A. J.; Weston, J.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 805, No. 2, 136, 01.06.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Nelson, T.

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N2 - Determining reliable distances to classical novae is a challenging but crucial step in deriving their ejected masses and explosion energetics. Here we combine radio expansion measurements from the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array with velocities derived from optical spectra to estimate an expansion parallax for nova V959 Mon, the first nova discovered through its γ-ray emission. We spatially resolve the nova at frequencies of 4.5-36.5 GHz in nine different imaging epochs. The first five epochs cover the expansion of the ejecta from 2012 October to 2013 January, while the final four epochs span 2014 February-May. These observations correspond to days 126 through 199 and days 615 through 703 after the first detection of the nova. The images clearly show a non-spherical ejecta geometry. Utilizing ejecta velocities derived from three-dimensional modeling of optical spectroscopy, the radio expansion implies a distance between 0.9 ± 0.2 and 2.2 ± 0.4 kpc, with a most probable distance of 1.4 ± 0.4 kpc. This distance implies a γ-ray luminosity of erg s-1, which is much less than the prototype γ-ray-detected nova, V407 Cyg, possibly due to the lack of a red giant companion in the V959 Mon system. V959 Mon also has a much lower γ-ray luminosity than other classical novae detected in γ-rays to date, indicating a range of at least a factor of 10 in the γ-ray luminosities for these explosions.

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Linford JD, Ribeiro VARM, Chomiuk L, Nelson T, Sokoloski JL, Rupen MP et al. The distance to nova V959 Mon from VLA imaging. Astrophysical Journal. 2015 Jun 1;805(2). 136. https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/805/2/136