Context. The M 31 nova M31N 2008-12a was recently found to be a recurrent nova (RN) with a recurrence time of about one year. This is by far the fastest recurrence time scale of any known RN.
Aims: Our optical monitoring programme detected the predicted 2014 outburst of M31N 2008-12a in early October. We immediately initiated an X-ray/UV monitoring campaign with Swift to study the multiwavelength evolution of the outburst.
Methods: We monitored M31N 2008-12a with daily Swift observations for 20 days after discovery, covering the entire supersoft X-ray source (SSS) phase.
Results: We detected SSS emission around day six after outburst. The SSS state lasted for approximately two weeks until about day 19. M31N 2008-12a was a bright X-ray source with a high blackbody temperature.
Conclusions: The X-ray properties of this outburst are very similar to the 2013 eruption. Combined X-ray spectra show a fast rise and decline of the effective blackbody temperature. The short-term X-ray light curve showed strong, aperiodic variability which decreased significantly after about day 14. Overall, the X-ray properties of M31N 2008-12a are consistent with the average population properties of M 31 novae. The optical and X-ray light curves can be scaled uniformly to show similar time scales to those of the Galactic RNe U Sco or RS Oph. The SSS evolution time scales and effective temperatures are consistent with a high-mass WD. We predict the next outburst of M31N 2008-12a to occur in Oct.-Dec. 2015.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- August 2015
- galaxies: individual: M 31;
- cataclysmic variables;
- X-rays: binaries;
- stars: individual: M31N 2008-12a;
- Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
- 13 pages, 7 figures, 3 tables