Spitzer and Ground-based Infrared Observations of the 2006 Eruption of RS Ophiuchi

C. E. Woodward, L. A. Helton, R. D. Gehrz, D. K. Lynch, Richard J. Rudy, Ray W. Russell, T. Kerr, M. F. Bode, M. J. Darnley, S. P. S. Eyres, T. R. Geballe, Tim J. O'brien, R. J. Davis, S. Starrfield, J.-u. Ness, Jeremy J. Drake, J. P. Osborne, K. L. Page, G. Schwarz, J. KrautterA. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present Spitzer Space Telescope and complementary ground-based infrared observations of the recurrent nova RS Ophiuchi, obtained over the period 64-111 days after the 2006 eruption. The Spitzer IRS data show a rich emission-line spectrum superimposed on a free-free continuum. The presence of fine-structure and coronal infrared lines lead us to deduce that there are at least two temperatures (1.5 × 105 and 9 × 105 K) in the ejecta/wind environment and that the electron density in the "cooler" region is 2.2 × 105 cm-3. The determination of elemental abundances is not straightforward, but on the assumption that the Ne and O fine-structure lines arise in the same volume of the ejecta, the O/Ne ratio is gsim0.6 by number.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L29-L32
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2007


  • binaries: close
  • binaries: symbiotic
  • infrared: stars
  • novae: cataclysmic variables
  • stars: individual (RS Ophiuchi)


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