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Spectroscopic Confirmation and Classification of a Recent M31 Nova Candidate

ATel #3699; A. W. Shafter (SDSU), R. Ciardullo (PSU), M. F. Bode, M. J. Darnley (Liverpool JMU, UK)
on 22 Oct 2011; 00:23 UT
Credential Certification: Allen W. Shafter (aws@nova.sdsu.edu)

Subjects: Optical, Nova, Transient

Referred to by ATel #: 3712, 3725, 3727

We report spectroscopic observations of a recent M31 nova candidate (tentatively named M31N 2011-10d?), which was discovered by E. Ovcharov et al. at R = 17.574 +/- 0.059 on 2011 Oct. 19.715 UT (ATel #3693). At our request, a spectrum (410–950 nm) was obtained by S. C. Odewahn approximately 1.5 days post discovery on 2011 Oct. 21.10 UT with the 9.2m Hobby-Eberly Telescope (+ Marcario Low-Resolution Spectrograph). The spectrum is dominated by moderately broad Balmer and Fe II emission lines (FWHM Hα ~ 3300 km/s; EW Hα ~ -12.5 nm) superimposed on a blue continuum. These observations confirm that the object is in fact a nova, and that it is a likely member of the Fe IIb (or Hybrid) spectroscopic class. Follow-up observations are planned to determine whether the spectrum evolves into that of a He/N system.

A.W.S. thanks the NSF for support through AST-1009566, and E. Ovcharov for kindly supplying a finding chart for the object.