Infrared Observations of Novae in the SOFIA Era

Date: 
Wednesday, February 24, 2016 - 9:00am PST
Speaker: 
Bob Gehrz
Affiliation: 
University of Minnesota
Location: 
N/A
Event Type: 
Teletalk

Classical novae may contribute to some of the isotopic anomalies that are present in the remnants of the primitive solar system. We describe the way infrared (IR) photometric and spectroscopic observations can quantify the physical parameters of nova explosions and their contributions to the Inter-Stellar Medium (ISM). Metal abundances in the ejecta can be deduced from both IR dust emission features and forbidden line emission. We show that some novae have produced ejecta extremely overabundant in CNO, Ne, Mg, Al, and Si. The properties of nova dust are compared to those of grains in pre-planetary nebulae and comet nuclei. We describe space observations of novae from the Spitzer Space Telescope and anticipate the impact that the new NASA Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) will have on future infrared studies of novae.

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