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Astron. Astrophys. 323, 387-392 (1997)

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The mass-loss history of the symbiotic nova RR Telescopii *

Harry Nussbaumer and Thomass Dumm

Institute of Astronomy, ETH-Zentrum, CH-8092 Zürich, Switzerland

Received 2 October 1996 / Accepted 24 October 1996


Mass loss in symbiotic novae is of interest to the theory of nova-like events as well as to the question whether symbiotic novae could be precursors of type Ia supernovae. RR Tel began its outburst in 1944. It spent five years in an extended state with no mass-loss before slowly shrinking and increasing its effective temperature. This transition was accompanied by strong mass-loss which decreased after 1960. IUE and HST high resolution spectra from 1978 to 1995 show no trace of mass-loss. Since 1978 the total luminosity has been decreasing at approximately constant effective temperature. During the present outburst the white dwarf in RR Tel will have lost much less matter than it accumulated before outburst. - The 1995 continuum at [FORMULA] is compatible with a hot star of [FORMULA] K, [FORMULA], and [FORMULA].

Key words: binaries: symbiotic, novae – stars: individual: RR Tel – stars: mass-loss

* Based on observations by the International Ultraviolet Explorer and the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, retrieved from the respective archives

Send offprint requests to: nussbaumer@astro.phys.ethz.ch

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: June 5, 1998