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Recurrent Nova M31N 2008-12a: discovery and constraints of the 2016 eruption

ATel #9848; K. Itagaki (Itagaki Astronomical Observatory), X. Gao (Xingming Observatory), M. J. Darnley (LJMU), M. Henze (CSIC-IEEC), A. W. Shafter (SDSU), S. C. Williams (Lancaster), S. Kafka (AAVSO), M. Kato (Keio University), for a larger collaboration
on 12 Dec 2016; 13:44 UT
Credential Certification: Matt Darnley (M.J.Darnley@ljmu.ac.uk)

Subjects: Optical, Nova, Transient

Referred to by ATel #: 9852, 9853, 9857, 9861, 9864, 9865, 9872, 9874, 9881, 9883, 9885, 9891, 9906, 9907, 9910, 10001

We report the discovery of the predicted 2016 eruption of the remarkable recurrent M 31 nova M31N 2008-12a (also see CBAT TOCP; see ATels #5607,#6527,#7964 for earlier detections as well as Darnley et al. 2014, 2015, 2016 and Henze et al. 2014, 2015a, 2015b for comprehensive multi-wavelength light curves of previous eruptions).

The nova was clearly detected on 2016-12-12.4874 UT using five images (480s total exposure time) obtained with the 50cm f/6 telescope, with a BITRAN BN-52E(KAF-1001E) camera, at the Itagaki Astronomical Observatory. The unfiltered discovery magnitude is 18.2.

The nova was also detected by the Half-Meter-Telescope (HMT) at the Xingming Observatory, a 508mm aperture, with a focal length of 2052mm using a QHY11 CCD camera.

A number of observations over the two previous days from the Liverpool Telescope and LCO-1m in McDonald have enabled us to constrain the time of eruption:

 
Date              Telescope      Filter   Photometry 
2016 12 11.0280   LT              u'       >20.4 
2016 12 11.8902   LT              u'       >21.6 
2016 12 11.8989   LT              u'       >22.2 
2016 12 12.1507   LCO-1m          r'       >19.1 
2016 12 12.4872   Itagaki 50cm    none     18.2 
2016 12 12.5358   Xingming HMT    V        17.9 
2016 12 12.5368   Xingming HMT    V        18.1 
2016 12 12.5377   Xingming HMT    V        18.1 
2016 12 12.5386   Xingming HMT    V        18.0 
2016 12 12.5395   Xingming HMT    V        18.3 


We will continue to monitor the nova light curve and strongly encourage additional follow-up observations. We have also triggered our pre-planed Swift, GTC and Gemini-North campaigns.