Claus Tappert – When new becomes old: the search for post-novae
Classical novae are cataclysmic variables (CVs) that undergo a thermonuclear explosion once the white dwarf has accreted a critical amount of mass from
its late-type main-sequence companion. Nova eruptions are considered recurrent events in the life of most, if not all, CVs. Yet, there is still
not much known about the role of such eruptions within the evolution of CVs. Do they occur at every stage? And if yes, with the same frequency? In other
words: what are the parameters that favour a nova eruption? And what are the short- and long-term consequences of the nova eruption for the CV?
A detailed study of post-novae is hampered by the small number of confirmed systems: for more than half of the 200 nova eruptions that were reported
before 1980 even the position of the post-nova is still unkown! In 2009 we have begun a systematic search for such systems, and I here report on the
progress of the project as well as on a few enigmatic systems that we have found in its course.
Instituto de Astronomia
29 de Agosto