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Paper: Spectroscopic and Photometric Development of T Pyxidis (2011) from 0.8 to 250 Days after Discovery
Volume: 490, Stella Novae: Past and Future Decades
Page: 169
Authors: Surina, F.; Hounsell, R. A.; Bode, M. F.; Darnley, M. J.; Harman, D. J.; Walter, F. M.
Abstract: We investigated the optical light curve of T Pyx during its 2011 outburst through compiling a database of SMEI and AAVSO observations. The SMEI light curve, providing unprecedented detail with high cadence data during t=1.5–49 days post-discovery, was divided into four phases based on the idealised nova optical light curve; the initial rise, the pre-maximum halt (or the 'plateau'), the final rise, and the early decline. Variation in the SMEI light curve reveals a strongly detected period of 1.44±0.04 days before the visual maximum. The spectra from the LT and SMARTS telescopes were investigated during t=0.8–80.7 and 155.1–249.9 days. The nova was observed very early in its rise and a distinct high velocity ejection phase was evident. A marked drop and then gradual increase in derived ejection velocities were present. Here we propose two different stages of mass loss, a short-lived phase occurring immediately after outburst followed by a more steadily evolving and higher mass loss phase. The overall spectral development follows that typical of a classical nova and comparison to the photometric behaviour reveals consistencies with the simple evolving pseudo-photosphere model of the nova outburst. The optical spectra are also compared to X-ray and radio light curves. Weak [Fe x] 6375Å emission was marginally detected before the rise in X-ray emission. The middle of the plateau in the X-ray light curve is coincident with the appearance of high ionization species detected in the optical spectra and the peak of the high frequency radio flux.
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