Helium nova on a very massive white dwarf: A revised light-curve model of V445 Puppis (2000)

Mariko Kato, Izumi Hachisu, Seiichiro Kiyota, Hideyuki Saio

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53 Citations (Scopus)


V445 Pup (2000) is a unique object identified as a helium nova. Color indexes during the outburst are consistent with those of free-free emission. We present a free-free emission-dominated light-curve model of V445 Pup on the basis of the optically thick wind theory. Our light-curve fitting shows that (1) the white dwarf (WD) mass is very massive (MWD ≳ 1.35 M ) and (2) half of the accreted matter remains on the WD, both of which suggest that the WD mass is increasing. Therefore, V445 Pup is a strong candidate for a Type Ia supernova progenitor. The estimated distance to V445 Pup is now consistent with recent observational suggestions, 3.5 kpc ≲d≲6.5 kpc. A helium star companion is consistent with the brightness of mv = 14.5 mag just before the outburst, if it is a slightly evolved hot ( log T[K] ≳ 4.5) star with the mass of MHe ≳ 0.8 M. We then emphasize importance of observations in the near-future quiescent phase after the thick circumstellar dust dissipates away, especially its color and magnitude, to specify the nature of the companion star. We have also calculated helium ignition masses for helium shell flashes against various helium accretion rates and discussed the recurrence period of helium novae.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1366-1373
Number of pages8
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Sept 10


  • Binaries: close
  • Novae, cataclysmic variables
  • Stars: individual (V445 Puppis)
  • Stars: mass loss
  • White dwarfs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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