Supersoft X-ray light curve of RS Ophiuchi (2006)

Izumi Hachisu, Mariko Kato, Gerardo Juan Manuel Luna

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83 Citations (Scopus)


One of the candidates for Type la supernova progenitors, the recurrent nova RS Ophiuchi, underwent its sixth recorded outburst in 2006 February, and for the first time a complete light curve of supersoft X-rays has been obtained. It shows the much earlier emergence and longer duration of a supersoft X-ray phase than expected before. These characteristics can be naturally understood when a significant amount of helium layer piles up beneath the hydrogen-burning zone during the outburst, suggesting that the white dwarf (WD) is effectively growing in mass. We have estimated the WD mass in RS Oph to be 1.35 ±0.01 M and the growth rate of the WD mass to be at an average rate of ∼1 × 10-7 M yr-1. The white dwarf will probably reach the critical mass for Type la explosion if the present accretion continues further for a few to several times 105 yr.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L153-L156
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 II
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Apr 20


  • Binaries: close
  • Binaries: symbiotic
  • Novae, cataclysmic variables
  • Stars: individual (RS Ophiuchi)
  • Supernovae: general
  • White dwarfs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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