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Confirmation of nova M31N 2017-01a with Swift/UVOT

ATel #10002; M. Henze (CSIC-IEEC), M. J. Middleton (Cambridge)
on 25 Jan 2017; 14:31 UT
Credential Certification: Martin Henze (henze@ice.cat)

Subjects: Ultra-Violet, Nova, Transient

We report the detection of the nova candidate M31N 2017-01a (ATel #9958; alternate designation PNV J00424525+4116108) in three recent observations obtained with the ultraviolet/optical telescope (UVOT) aboard the Swift satellite. This object is located very close to the bright core of M31, making a confirmation through spectroscopy or Hα photometry exceedingly difficult. Our Swift/UVOT detections confirm that the object is indeed a nova and show its gradually declining light curve. The first UVOT detection on Jan 08.57 UT was more than two days before the optical discovery on Jan 10.762 UT (ATel #9958), thereby improving the accuracy of the eruption date estimate. Below we list the observing dates and magnitudes. The uvw1 filter has a central wavelength of 260 nm while for the U filter it is at 347 nm.

Date [UT]     | Exposure [s]  |  Mag  | Err  | Filter 
2016-12-25.47 |    1918       | >18.2 |      | uvw1 
2017-01-08.57 |     326       |  16.6 | 0.2  | uvw1 
2017-01-15.53 |    2896       |  17.6 | 0.2  |    U 
2017-01-22.72 |    1888       |  17.8 | 0.3  | uvw1 

All magnitudes are in the UVOT photometric system (Poole et al. 2008, Breeveld et al. 2011) and have not been corrected for extinction. We wish to thank the Swift Team for making these observations possible, in particular N. Gehrels, the duty scientists as well as the science planners.