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Spectroscopic Identification of Nova in M81

ATel #3770; Y. Cao (Caltech), M. M. Kasliwal (OCIW/Princeton), S. Johnson (UChicago), D. York (UChicago), M. Strauss (Princeton), report on behalf of the Palomar Transient Factory collaboration
on 17 Nov 2011; 17:34 UT
Credential Certification: Yi Cao (smartcaoyi@gmail.com)

Subjects: Optical, Nova

Referred to by ATel #: 3871, 3888

At UT 2011 Nov 15.52, we obtained a spectrum of PNV J09553266+6906072 (ATEL#3735), also internally designated as PTF11qij. We used the standard low resolution setup of the Dual Imaging Spectrograph (DIS) on the 3.5m telescope at Apache Point Observatory. On UT Nov 16.51, we used the high resolution setup of DIS to get another spectrum. We see H-alpha and H-beta emission suggesting this is a classical nova. Curiously, the profile of both Balmer lines is double-peaked. The peaks have velocities of roughly -400 km/s and +800 km/s relative to M81. The overall width is ~2,000 km/s. We note that the observed absolute magnitude in R-band of -9.3 mag is on the bright end of classical novae. We thank the director, Suzanne Hawley and observing specialist, Jack Dembicky for facilitating this target of opportunity observation.