The narrow and moving HeII lines in nova KT Eri [SSA]

We present outburst and quiescence spectra of the classical nova KT Eri and discuss the appearance of a sharp HeII 4686 Ang emission line, whose origin is a matter of discussion for those novae that showed a similar component. We suggest that the sharp HeII line, when it first appeared toward the end of the outburst optically thick phase, comes from the wrist of the dumbbell structure characterizing the ejecta as modeled by Ribeiro et al. (2013). When the ejecta turned optically thin, the already sharp HeII line became two times narrower and originated from the exposed central binary. During the optically thin phase, the HeII line displayed a large change in radial velocity that had no counterpart in the Balmer lines (both their narrow cores and the broad pedestals). The large variability in radial velocity of the HeII line continued well into quiescence, and it remains the strongest emission line observed over the whole optical range.

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U. Munari, E. Mason and P. Valisa
Fri, 14 Mar 14