Early Infrared Spectral Development of V1187 Scorpii (Nova Scorpii 2004 No. 2)

D. K. Lynch, C. E. Woodward, T. R. Geballe, Ray W. Russell, Richard J. Rudy, Catherine C. Venturini, G. J. Schwarz, R. D. Gehrz, N. Smith, J. E. Lyke, S. J. Bus, Michael L. Sitko, T. E. Harrison, S. P. Eyres, Steven N. Shore, S. Starrfield, M. F. Bode, M. A. Greenhouse, P. H. Hauschildt, J. W. TruranR. Brad Perry, R. Zamanov, T. J. O’brien, A. Evans, S. Fisher, R. E. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report on an unprecedented infrared time series of spectra of V1187 Sco, a very fast ONeMg nova. The observations covered a 56 day period (2004 August 6-September 30) starting 2 days after the nova's peak brightness. Time evolution of the spectra revealed changing line strengths and profiles on timescales of less than a day to weeks as the nova evolved from early postmaximum to early coronal phases. When our ground-based optical and Spitzer Space Telescope data were combined, the wavelength coverage of 0.38-36 μm allowed an accurate spectral energy distribution to be derived when it was about 6 weeks after outburst. Developing double structure in the He I lines showed them changing from narrow to broad in only a few days. Using the O I lines in combination with the optical spectra, we derived a reddening of E(B - V) = 1.56 ± 0.08 and a distance of 4.9 ± 0.5 kpc. Modeling of the ejected material strongly suggested that it was geometrically thick with ΔR/R = 0.8-0.9 (more of a wind than a shell) and a low filling factor of order a few percent. The line shapes were consistent with a cylindrical jet, bipolar, or spherical Hubble flow expansion with a maximum speed of about -3000 km s-1. The central peak appeared to be more associated with the spherical component, while the two peaks (especially in Hβ) suggested a ring with either a lower velocity component or with its axis inclined to the line of sight.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)987-1003
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2006


  • infrared: stars
  • novae, cataclysmic variables
  • stars: individual (V1187 Sco)


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