AAVSO: American Association of Variable Star Observers

Novae Erupting within Symbiotic Binaries: Getting Ready for Coming Fireworks (Abstract)

Volume 48 number 1 (2020)

Ulisse Munari
Vicolo dell'Osservatorio 5, Padova, I-35122, Italy; ulisse.munari@oapd.inaf.it


(Abstract only) In a classical nova, once launched at high speed the ejecta continue their expansion unimpeded in the surrounding void forever. If the nova occurs on a WD orbiting within the thick wind of a cool giant or a Mira, i.e. in a symbiotic binary, the ejecta slam onto the pre-existing circumstellar material and are rapidly decelerated, with consequent emission of very high energy GeV gamma-rays and a lot of other awesome exotica. But this is just one of many different types of outbursts that a symbiotic binary may undergo, including a final one as a Type Ia Supernova, offering endless opportunities for fun as well as intriguing science to the keen observer. I'll review the nature of symbiotic binaries and of their outbursts in particular, and if we—as a global pro/am community—are truly ready for the anticipated coming ones. I'll do that primarily from the perspective of the advanced amateurs, those who carry out fully transformed multi-band photometry and master pro-level spectroscopy.