NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010B-0119

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Proposal Information for 2010B-0119


PI: Mark Rushton, University of Central lancashire, mrushton@uclan.ac.uk
Address: Jeremiah Horrocks Institute for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Preston, Lancashire, PR1 2HE, UK

CoI: Chick Woodward, University of Minnesota
CoI: Nye Evans, Keele University
CoI: Yakiv Pavlenko, Nat. Acad. Sciences Ukraine
CoI: Bogdan Kaminsky, Nat. Acad. Sciences Ukraine

Title: Pollution of the Secondary in the RS Ophiuchi System

Abstract: RS Ophiuchi is a recurrent nova (RN) consisting of a red giant (RG) star and a white dwarf (WD) with a mass near the Chandrasekhar limit, which undergoes outbursts every 10 to 20 years. Both the progress of the eruptions, and their aftermath, depend on the nature of the RG in the system. Recent Phoenix (R 40,000) spectra of the CO in the secondary has unexpectedly revealed the possible presence of the 12C18O isotopic band. Although the 16O/18O ratio is poorly constrained in the data, it is clearly lower than the values usually observed in RGs - the ratio is always near the solar value ( 500) in low-intermediate mass stellar evolution. A possible explanation is that the RG has been contaminated by the nova ejecta. We propose to obtain high S/N (> 100) observations of the 12C17O, and 12C18O, absorption bands near 2.3 micron of the RS Oph system in quiescence ([K] 6.5) to constrain the oxygen isotopic ratios in the RG.


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