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New optical nova candidate in M 31, a possible recurrent nova?

ATEL # 1935; W. Pietsch, M. Henze, V. Burwitz (Max-Planck-Institut fuer extraterrestrische Physik, MPE), A. Updike (Clemson University, CU), P. Milne, G. Williams (University of Arizona), D.H. Hartmann (CU)
on 21 Feb 2009; 12:26 UT
Password Certification: Wolfgang Pietsch (wnp@mpe.mpg.de)

Subjects: Optical, Nova

We report the discovery of a possible nova in M 31 on two 8x60s stacked R filter CCD images obtained with the robotic 60cm telescope with an E2V CCD (2kx2k, 13.5��m sq. pixels) of the Livermore Optical Transient Imaging System (Super-LOTIS, located at Steward Observatory, Kitt Peak, Arizona, USA). The object was first detected on 2009 February 20.13 and 21.13 UT with respective magnitudes of 18.5 and 18.6. The position for the nova candidate is RA = 00h42m27.77s, Dec = +41d13'42.4"(J2000, accuracy of 0.3"), which is 3'7" west and 2'27" south of the core of M 31. All magnitudes given are obtained from a photometric solution using R magnitudes of the Local Group Survey M 31 catalogue (Massey et al. 2006, AJ 131, 2478). No object is visible at the position of the nova candidate on Super-LOTIS images of 2009 February 19.13 and 5.15 UT (limiting R magnitudes at the position of 18.0 and 18.5, respectively). There is no entry in VizieR/CDS for this object and no minor planet could be found on this position using the MPC/IAU Minor Planet Checker (see http://scully.harvard.edu/~cgi/CheckMP).
The position of the nova candidate is 4.2" away from the position of the slow nova M31N 1997-10f (Hubble 1929, ApJ 69, 103) according to the M 31 nova catalog of Pietsch et al. (2007, A&A 465, 375; see http://www.mpe.mpg.de/~m31novae/opt/m31/index.php) and well within the large error circle for this nova. This opens the possibility that we see a new outburst of nova M31N 1997-10f. A re-analysis of the historical plates could clarify the situation.


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