Eruptions of the V838 Mon type: stellar merger versus nuclear outburst models
Department for Astrophysics, N. Copernicus Astronomical Center, Rabiańska 8, 87-100 Toruń, Poland e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Department of Physics, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, 32000 Haifa, Israel e-mail: email@example.com
Accepted: 6 January 2006
We discuss various models and scenarios proposed to explain the nature of the V838 Mon type eruptions. In this class of eruptive objects we include: M 31 RV (erupted in 1988), V4332 Sgr (erupted in 1994) and V838 Mon (erupted in 2002). We concentrate on three models: (i) thermonuclear runaway on an accreting white dwarf (nova-like event); (ii) He-shell flash in a post asymptotic giant branch star (born-again AGB); and (iii) merger of stars. We show that models (i) and (ii) cannot account for the majority of the observed properties of the objects. Most significantly, in both nuclear burning type models the object is expected to heat up before declining and fade as a very hot compact star. In the observed eruptions the objects declined as very cool giants or supergiants. We show that the stellar merger model can account for all the observed properties and conclude that presently this is the most promising model to explain the eruptions of the V838 Mon type.
Key words: stars: supergiants / stars: binaries: general / stars: pre-main sequence / stars: mass loss / stars: variables: general / stars: general
© ESO, 2006