A full cycle in the evolution of a classical nova

D. Prialnik*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A classical nova model was evolved through a complete cycle, i.e. accretion leading to cutburst, mass loss and again accretion, ending in another outburst, by means of an implicit Lagrangian hydrodynamic code, which included diffusion (concentration, pressure and thermal terms), as well as an extensive nuclear reactions network between 28 isotopes of C, N, O, F, Ne, Na, Mg and Al. The initial model was a 1.25 M C-O white dwarf (WD) and the accretion rate assumed was 10-11 M/yr. For more details of this calculation, see Prialnik (1986). The accreted matter was assumed to have normal composition (X=0.70, Z=0.03). Nevertheless, due to diffusion and convection, a significant amount of core material was mixed into the accreted matter, raising Z by a factor of 10. The model's evolution closely resembled that of a fast nova eruption, with a peak bolometric luminosity of 2.9×105 L, a time of decline by 3m of 25 days, an ejected mass of 6.5×10-6 M and a maximum velocity of 3800 km/sec.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-435
Number of pages5
JournalAstrophysics and Space Science
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Mar 1987


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