Elemental abundances in the ejecta of old classical novae from late-epoch spitzer spectra

L. Andrew Helton, Robert D. Gehrz, Charles E. Woodward, R. Mark Wagner, William D. Vacca, Aneurin Evans, Joachim Krautter, Greg J. Schwarz, Dinesh P. Shenoy, Sumner Starrfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


We present Spitzer Space Telescope mid-infrared IRS spectra, supplemented by ground-based optical observations, of the classical novae V1974 Cyg, V382 Vel, and V1494 Aql more than 11, 8, and 4years after outburst, respectively. The spectra are dominated by forbidden emission from neon and oxygen, though in some cases, there are weak signatures of magnesium, sulfur, and argon. We investigate the geometry and distribution of the late time ejecta by examination of the emission line profiles. Using nebular analysis in the low-density regime, we estimate lower limits on the abundances in these novae. In V1974 Cyg and V382 Vel, our observations confirm the abundance estimates presented by other authors and support the claims that these eruptions occurred on ONe white dwarfs (WDs). We report the first detection of neon emission in V1494 Aql and show that the system most likely contains a CO WD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number37
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 10 2012


  • V1494 Aquilae)
  • V382 Velorum
  • cataclysmic variables
  • infrared: stars
  • novae
  • stars: abundances
  • stars: individual (V1974 Cygni

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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