EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 492, Number 1, December II 2008
Page(s) 301 - 317
Section Catalogs and data
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:200809592
Published online 01 October 2008

A&A 492, 301-317 (2008)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:200809592

Discovery, photometry, and astrometry of 49 classical nova candidates in M 81 galaxy

K. Hornoch 1, P. Scheirich 1, P. M. Garnavich 2, S. Hameed 3, and D. A. Thilker 4

1  Astronomical Institute, Academy of Sciences, 251 65 Ondřejov, Czech Republic
    e-mail: k.hornoch@centrum.cz
2  University of Notre Dame, Department of Physics, 225 Nieuwland Science Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556-5670, USA
    e-mail: pgarnavi@nd.edu
3  Five College Astronomy Department, Smith College, Northampton, MA 01063, USA
    e-mail: shameed@hampshire.edu
4  Center for Astrophysical Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, 3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
    e-mail: dthilker@skysrv.pha.jhu.edu

Received 15 February 2008 / Accepted 17 September 2008

Aims. This paper reports on a search for new classical nova candidates in the M 81 galaxy based on archival, as well as recent, new images.
Methods. We used images from 1999–2007 to search for optical transients in M 81. The positions of the identified classical nova candidates were used to study their spatial distribution. Kolmogorov-Smirnov test (KS) and bottom-to-top (BTR) ratio diagnostic were used to analyze the nova candidate distribution and differentiate between the disk and the bulge populations.
Results. In total, 49 classical nova candidates were discovered. In this study, we present the precise positions and photometry of these objects, plus the photometry of an additional 9 classical nova candidates found by Neill & Shara (2004, AJ, 127, 816). With our large sample, we find a different spatial distribution of classical nova candidates when compared to the results of earlier studies. Also, an extraordinarily bright nova was found and studied in detail.

Key words: galaxies: individual: M 81 -- stars: binaries: close -- stars: novae, cataclysmic variables

© ESO 2008