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M31N 1963-09c - Fourth recorded outburst of a recurrent nova in M 31 or a foreground U Gem system?

ATel #3001; W. Pietsch, M. Henze, V. Burwitz (Max-Planck-Institut fuer extraterrestrische Physik), A. Kaur, D. H. Hartmann (Clemson University), P. Milne, G. Williams (University of Arizona)
on 2 Nov 2010; 15:01 UT
Credential Certification: Wolfgang Pietsch (wnp@mpe.mpg.de)

Subjects: Optical, Request for Observations, Cataclysmic Variable, Nova

Referred to by ATel #: 3006, 3013, 3038, 8235, 9280

Detections of a new nova candidate in M 31 were reported to us by K. Hornoch, Astronomical Institute, Ondrejov, and P. Hornochova. They detected the candidate on 2010-10-31.727 UT at R=18.1mag at R.A. = 0h42m57s.74, Decl. = +41o08'12".1 (J2000). The object was already visible on their images from 2010-10-30.703 UT at R=19.1mag.

We detect the object on 8x60s and 11x60s stacked R filter CCD images obtained with the robotic 60cm telescope with an E2V CCD (2kx2k, 13.5 micron sq. pixels) of the Livermore Optical Transient Imaging System (Super-LOTIS, located at Steward Observatory, Kitt Peak, Arizona, USA) on 2010 November 1.299 UT and 2.144 UT with magnitude of 18.1 and 18.6, respectively. The position for the nova candidate is RA = 00h42m57.76s, Dec = +41d08'12.3"(J2000, accuracy of 0.2"). Positions and magnitudes given are obtained from a photometric solution using R magnitudes of the Local Group Survey M 31 catalogue (Massey et al. 2006, AJ, 131, 2478).

The object position coincides with M31N 1963-09c (distance 0.4", error 0.4"), M31N 1968-09a (0.8", 5") and M31N 2001-07b (0.2", 0.2", see MPE M 31 nova catalog: http://www.mpe.mpg.de/~m31novae/opt/m31/M31_table.html ). These three objects were already classified as recurrent nova (rec. time 5.0, 32.8 yr). We suggest that this is another outburst of the same system with a time lag of 9.2 yr since the last reported outburst. Sharov and Alksnis (1989, SvAL 15, 382) argued that the short recurrence time between the first two outbursts of the system would be too short for a recurrent nova in M 31 and propose that the object is a U Gem system in the Galactic foreground. Spectroscopic clarification is strongly needed.