Rise and fall of silicate dust in RS Ophiuchi following the 2006 eruption

Rushton, Mark T, Woodward, C E, Gehrz, R D, Evans, A, Kaminsky, B, Pavlenko, Ya V and Eyres, Stewart Paul shore (2022) Rise and fall of silicate dust in RS Ophiuchi following the 2006 eruption. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society . ISSN 1365-2966

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stac2771


Abstract We present an analysis of archival Spitzer InfraRed Spectrograph (IRS) observations of the recurrent nova RS Ophiuchi obtained on several occasions, beginning about 7 months after the outburst in 2006. These data show atomic emission lines, absorption bands due to photospheric SiO, and the well known silicate dust features at $9.7\, \mu$m and $18\, \mu$m. The dust emission, arising in the wind of the secondary star, is fitted by Dusty models for mass-loss rates in the range 1.0–1.7 × 10−7 M⊙ yr−1. The silicate features are similar in profile to those seen in circumstellar environments of isolated late-type stars and some dusty symbiotic binaries, although the longer wavelength feature peaks at $17\, \mu$m, instead of the usual $18\, \mu$m, indicating peculiar grain properties. The dust features are variable, appearing stronger in 2006-2007 during outburst than in 2008-2009 when the system was in the quiescent state. This variability is attributed to changes in the ultraviolet output and the reformation of the accretion disk, although a decline in the mass-loss rate of the red giant secondary star could also play a role. Further observations, in the aftermath of the 2021 eruption, could provide a definitive conclusion.

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