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Rebrightening of SN 2009ip is Reminiscent of eta Carinae Just Before 1843 Eruption

ATel #2212; W. Li, N. Smith, A. A. Miller, and A. V. Filippenko (University of California, Berkeley)
on 24 Sep 2009; 17:14 UT
Credential Certification: Alexei V. Filippenko (alex@astro.berkeley.edu)

Subjects: Optical, Supernovae, Transient, Variables

Referred to by ATel #: 2897

As previously noted (Miller et al. ATel #2183), we detected SN 2009ip, a possible luminous blue variable (LBV; Miller et al. ATel #2183, Berger et al. ATel #2184), at 18.2 mag in an unfiltered observation taken on 2009 Aug 30. This was fainter than its peak a few days earlier (Maza et al. 2009, CBET #1928). In an unfiltered image taken on 2009 Sep 11, the transient had then faded to 20.2 mag, implying that the SN2009ip transient event had ended. Unfiltered observations on 2009 Sep 21 now show that the transient has rebrightened to 18.3 mag. Declining by over 3 mag in 16 days is remarkably fast, but the immediate rebrightening by 2 mag is unprecedented. It does, however, resemble a fast dip and recovery by eta Carinae a month before the peak of its Great Eruption in 1843. The physical origin of the fast decline and rise are not fully understood, but the similarity to eta Car suggests that the eruption of SN 2009ip is continuing.