An unusual nova outbreak has been discovered

An international team of astronomers observed an unusual outbreak of a nova (or simply nova) in the constellation Vulpecula. Results of a study published on a preprint server arXivrevealed the nature of this unusual explosion.

A classical nova is a star that experiences a rapid increase in optical brightness followed by a slow decrease. However, some new ones exhibit more complex behavior than the standard “rapid growth – smooth decline” pattern.

The new Chanterelle 2021 (or V606 Vul for short) is a flash that deviates from the traditional model. V606 Vul was discovered on July 16, 2021, nine days before observations by the TESS space telescope began.

The light curve showed that the nova reached its maximum brightness during its second peak, which occurred 64 days after the eruption. The light curve showed periodic changes with a period of approximately 3.06 hours and an amplitude of approximately 0.01 magnitude and mini-flares with an amplitude of up to 0.5 magnitude. They appeared at random times and disappeared when the nova reached its maximum brightness.

Astronomers speculate that these changes are the result of azimuthal asymmetry in the photosphere surrounding the binary system. However, they do not exclude other explanations, for example, azimuthal asymmetry of the photosphere temperature.

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