Toward a unified light-curve model for multiwavelength observations of V1974 Cygni (Nova Cygni 1992)

Izumi Hachisu, Mariko Kato

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23 Citations (Scopus)


We present a unified model for optical, ultraviolet (UV), and X-ray light curves of V1974 Cygni (Nova Cygni 1992). Based on an optically thick wind model of nova outbursts, we have calculated light curves and searched for the best-fit model that is consistent with optical, UV, and X-ray observations. Our best-fit model is a white dwarf (WD) of mass 1.05 M⊙ with a chemical composition of X = 0.46, C + N + O = 0.15, and Ne = 0.05 by mass weight. Both supersoft X-ray and continuum UV 1455 Å light curves are well reproduced. Supersoft X-rays emerged on day ∼250 after the outburst, which is naturally explained by our model: our optically thick winds cease on day 245, and supersoft X-rays emerge from self-absorption by the winds. The X-ray flux keeps a constant peak value for ∼3OO days followed by a quick decay on day ∼600. The duration of the X-ray flat peak is well reproduced by steady hydrogen shell burning on the WD. The optical light curve is also explained by the same model if we introduce free-free emission from optically thin ejecta. A t-1.5 slope of the observed optical and infrared fluxes is very close to the slope of our modeled free-free light curve during the optically thick wind phase. Once the wind stops, optical and infrared fluxes should follow a t-3 slope, derived from a constant mass of expanding ejecta. An abrupt transition from a t -1.5 slope to a t-3 slope at day ∼200 is naturally explained by the change from the wind phase to the postwind phase on day ∼200. The development of hard X-ray flux is also reasonably understood as originating in the shock between the wind and the companion star. The distance to V1974 Cyg is estimated to be ∼1.7 kpc with E(B-V)-0.32 from the light-curve fitting for the continuum UV 1455 Å.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1094-1099
Number of pages6
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 I
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Oct 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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