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The Recent Optical Transient in M31 is a He/N Nova (and apparently another outburst of M31N 1963-09c)

ATel #3006; A. W. Shafter (SDSU), M. F. Bode, M. J. Darnley (Liverpool JMU, UK), R. Ciardullo (PSU), K. A. Misselt (U. Arizona)
on 4 Nov 2010; 16:48 UT
Credential Certification: Allen W. Shafter (aws@nova.sdsu.edu)

Subjects: Optical, Nova, Transient

Referred to by ATel #: 3013, 3038, 8242

A recent optical transient in the field of M31 was suggested by Pietsch et al. (ATel #3001) to be either another outburst of the recurrent nova M31N 1963-09c, or a foreground Galactic dwarf nova. At our request a spectrum (410–910 nm) of the transient was obtained by Matthew Shetrone on 2010 Nov. 04.32 UT (~5 days post discovery) with the Low-Resolution Spectrograph on the 9.2m Hobby-Eberly Telescope. The spectrum exhibits extremely broad Balmer and N III λ464.0 nm emission lines (FWHM Hα ~ 8100 km/s) superimposed on a flat continuum. These observations clearly establish that the object is a nova in M31 (apparently the fourth recorded outburst of M31N 1963-09c), and that it is a member of the He/N spectroscopic class.

A.W.S. thanks the NSF for support through AST-0607682.