Pan-chromatic observations of the remarkable nova large magellanic cloud 2012

Greg J. Schwarz, Steven N. Shore, Kim L. Page, Julian P. Osborne, Andrew P. Beardmore, Frederick M. Walter, Michael F. Bode, Jeremy J. Drake, Jan Uwe Ness, Sumner Starrfield, Daniel R. Van Rossum, Charles E. Woodward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We present the results of an intensive multiwavelength campaign on nova LMC 2012. This nova evolved very rapidly in all observed wavelengths. The time to fall two magnitudes in the V band was only 2 days. In X-rays the super soft phase began 13 ± 5 days after discovery and ended around day 50 after discovery. During the super soft phase, the Swift/XRT and Chandra spectra were consistent with the underlying white dwarf (WD) being very hot, ∼1 MK, and luminous, ∼1038 erg s-1. The UV, optical, and near-IR photometry showed a periodic variation after the initial and rapid fading had ended. Timing analysis revealed a consistent 19.24 ± 0.03 hr period in all UV, optical, and near-IR bands with amplitudes of ∼0.3 mag which we associate with the orbital period of the central binary. No periods were detected in the corresponding X-ray data sets. A moderately high inclination system, i = 60 ± 10, was inferred from the early optical emission lines. The HST/STIS UV spectra were highly unusual with only the N v (1240) line present and superposed on a blue continuum. The lack of emission lines and the observed UV and optical continua from four epochs can be fit with a low mass ejection event, ∼10-6 , from a hot and massive WD near the Chandrasekhar limit. The WD, in turn, significantly illuminated its subgiant companion which provided the bulk of the observed UV/optical continuum emission at the later dates. The inferred extreme WD characteristics and low mass ejection event favor nova LMC 2012 being a recurrent nova of the U Sco subclass.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number95
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015


  • novae, cataclysmic variables
  • ultraviolet: stars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Pan-chromatic observations of the remarkable nova large magellanic cloud 2012'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this