NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009B-0314

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Proposal Information for 2009B-0314


PI: L. Andrew Helton, University of Minnesota, ahelton@astro.umn.edu
Address: Dept. of Astronomy, 116 Church St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA

CoI: Charles E. Woodward, University of Minnesota

Title: Michelle and T-ReCS Monitoring of Classical Novae

Abstract: The Galactic cycle of chemical evolution depends upon the redistribution into the ambient interstellar medium (ISM) of elements synthesized by thermonuclear processes. Classical novae (CN) contribute to this cycle by deposition into the ISM of gas enriched through explosive nucleosynthesis and dust grains condensed in their envelopes providing the material from which the next generation of stars and planet grow. We propose to observe CNe in the mid-IR with Michelle and T-ReCS to determine the ejecta mass, the degree of elemental enrichment in the ejecta, the dust grain mineralogy, and the processes of dust grain grown and destruction. Michelle and T-ReCS observations fulfill these goals by providing high S/N data in which we can: 1.) measure H recombination, nebular, and coronal emission lines necessary to determine ejecta abundances and masses; 2.) measure prominent dust features from silicates and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons to track dust condensation, mass, grain size distribution, and processing; and 3.) estimate the energetics of the eruption providing insight into the underlying white dwarf and the eruption's contribution to the energy budget of the ISM. These observations will complement our extensive, on- going \textitChandra, \textitSwift, and ground based optical and near-IR observing programs.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



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