A theoretical light-curve model for the recurrent nova V394 Coronae Australis

Izumi Hachisu, Mariko Kato

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20 Citations (Scopus)


A theoretical light curve for the 1987 outburst of V394 Coronae Australis (V394 CrA) is modeled to obtain various physical parameters of this recurrent nova. We then apply the same set of parameters to a quiescent phase and confirm that these parameters give a unified picture of the binary. Our V394 CrA model consists of a very massive white dwarf (WD), with an accretion disk (ACDK) having a flaring-up rim, and a lobe-filling, slightly evolved, main-sequence star (MS). The model includes irradiation effects of the MS and the ACDK by the WD. The early visual light curve (t ∼ 1-10 days after the optical maximum) is well reproduced by a thermonuclear runaway model on a very massive WD close to the Chandrasekhar limit (1.37 ± 0.01 M). The ensuing plateau phase (t ∼ 10-30 days) is also reproduced by the combination of a slightly irradiated MS and a fully irradiated flaring-up disk with a radius ∼ 1.4 times the Roche lobe size. The best-fit parameters are the WD mass ∼1.37 M, the companion mass ∼1.5 M (0.8-2.0 M is acceptable), the inclination angle of the orbit i ∼ 65°-68°, and the flaring-up rim ∼0.30 times the disk radius. The envelope mass at the optical peak is estimated to be ∼6 × 10-6 M, which indicates an average mass accretion rate of ∼1.5 × 10-7 M yr-1 during the quiescent phase between the 1949 and 1987 outbursts. In the quiescent phase, we properly include the accretion luminosity of the WD and the viscous luminosity of the ACDK as well as the irradiation effects of the ACDK and MS by the WD. The observed light curve can be reproduced with a disk size of 0.7 times the Roche lobe size and a rather slim thickness of 0.05 times the accretion disk size at the rim. About 0.5 mag sinusoidal variation of the light curve requires a mass accretion rate higher than ∼1.0 × 10-7 M yr-1, which is consistent with the above estimation from the 1987 outburst. These newly obtained quantities are exactly the same as those predicted in a new progenitor model of Type Ia supernovae.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)447-451
Number of pages5
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART 1
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Sept 1


  • Accretion, accretion disks
  • Binaries: close
  • Novae, cataclysmic variables
  • Stars: individual (V394 Coronae Australis)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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