Multiwavelength observations of nova SMCN 2016-10a — one of the brightest novae ever observed [SSA]

We report on multiwavelength observations of nova SMCN 2016-10a. The present observational set is one of the most comprehensive for any nova in the Small Magellanic Cloud, including: low, medium, and high resolution optical spectroscopy and spectropolarimetry from SALT, FLOYDS, and SOAR; long-term OGLE $V$- and $I$- bands photometry dating back to six years before eruption; SMARTS optical and near-IR photometry from $\sim$ 11 days until over 280 days post-eruption; $Swift$ satellite X-ray and ultraviolet observations from $\sim$ 6 days until 319 days post-eruption. The progenitor system contains a bright disk and a main sequence or a sub-giant secondary. The nova is very fast with $t_2 \simeq$ 4.0 $\pm$ 1.0 d and $t_3 \simeq$ 7.8 $\pm$ 2.0 d in the $V$-band. If the nova is in the SMC, at a distance of $\sim$ 61 $\pm$ 10 kpc, we derive $M_{V,\mathrm{max}} \simeq – 10.5$ $\pm$ 0.5, making it the brightest nova ever discovered in the SMC and one of the brightest on record. At day 5 post-eruption the spectral lines show a He/N spectroscopic class and a FWHM of $\sim$ 3500 kms$^{-1}$ indicating moderately high ejection velocities. The nova entered the nebular phase $\sim$ 20 days post-eruption, predicting the imminent super-soft source turn-on in the X-rays, which started $\sim$ 28 days post-eruption. The super-soft source properties indicate a white dwarf mass between 1.2 M${\odot}$ and 1.3 M${\odot}$ in good agreement with the optical conclusions.

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E. Aydi, K. Page, N. Kuin, et. al.
Wed, 11 Oct 17

Comments: Accepted for publication in MNRAS on 2017 October 10 (31 pages, 26 figures, 11 tables)