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Spectroscopic Confirmation and Classification of PNV J00440207+4125442 as an He/N or Hybrid Nova in M31

ATel #4768; A. W. Shafter (SDSU), K. Hornoch (Astronomical Institute, Ondrejov, Czech Republic), R. Ciardullo (PSU), M. J. Darnley, M. F. Bode (Liverpool JMU)
on 28 Jan 2013; 20:51 UT
Credential Certification: Allen W. Shafter (aws@nova.sdsu.edu)

Subjects: Optical, Nova, Transient

We report spectroscopic observations of the bright M31 transient and nova candidate PNV J00440207+4125442 (tentatively identified as M31N 2013-01b) discovered on 2013 Jan. 25.728 UT by K. Hornoch at R = 15.05 +/- 0.07 (ATel #4765), and independently by K. Nishiyama and F. Kabashima (Miyaki-Argenteus Observatory, Japan) on 2013 Jan. 26.427 UT. Subsequent photometry shows that the object is fading rapidly with R = 17.02 +/- 0.09 on Jan. 28.727 UT. At our request, a spectrum (410–900 nm) was obtained by S. Odewahn with the 9.2m Hobby-Eberly Telescope (+ Marcario Low-Resolution Spectrograph) on 2013 Jan. 28.09 UT (less than 3 days post-discovery). The spectrum (see link below) is dominated by strong and broad Balmer emission lines (FWHM Hα ~ 5500 km/s), along with weaker He I, O I, and possibly Fe II and N III emission features, superimposed on a flat continuum. These observations confirm that PNV J00440207+4125442 is a nova in M31, and that it is either a member of the He/N or Hybrid (Fe IIb) spectroscopic class. Further observations are encouraged to monitor the spectral evolution of this luminous and rapidly fading nova. A.W.S. is grateful to the NSF for support through AST-1009566.

HET Spectra of Local Group Novae