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Recurrent Nova M31N 2008-12a: Swift UVOT detection of the 2016 eruption

ATel #9853; M. Henze (CSIC-IEEC) M. J. Darnley (LJMU), A. W. Shafter (SDSU), S. Kafka (AAVSO), M. Kato (Keio University), for a larger collaboration
on 13 Dec 2016; 10:39 UT
Credential Certification: Martin Henze (henze@ice.cat)

Subjects: Ultra-Violet, Nova, Transient

Referred to by ATel #: 9861, 9865, 9872, 9874, 9881, 9883, 9885, 9891, 9906, 9907

We report the detection of the 2016 eruption (ATels #9848,#9852) of the rapidly recurring nova M31N 2008-12a (Henze et al. 2014, 2015a, 2015b; Darnley et al. 2014, 2015, 2016) in data obtained with the Swift observatory ultra-violet/optical telescope (UVOT). As part of a multi-wavelength monitoring programme we obtained UVOT data only 4 hours (0.165 days) after the optical discovery (on Dec 12.4874 UT; ATel #9848). The nova was clearly detected with a uvw2 filter (Vega) magnitude of 16.9±0.1 mag (uvw2 central wavelength 193 nm) in a 4-ks observation starting on 2016-12-12.652 UT.

The magnitude is in the UVOT photometric system (Poole et al. 2008) and has not been corrected for extinction. Nothing is detected in the corresponding Swift XRT exposure. We will continue to monitor the UV and X-ray evolution of this exceptional nova.

We wish to thank the Swift Team for the rapid scheduling of the ToO observations, in particular N. Gehrels, B. Cenko, the duty scientists as well as the science planners.