Three-dimensional modeling of the asymmetric blast wave from the 2006 outburst of RS Ophiuchi: Early X-ray emission*
INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Palermo “G.S. Vaiana”, Piazza del Parlamento 1, 90134 Palermo, Italy e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Consorzio COMETA, via Santa Sofia 64, 95123 Catania, Italy
3 Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
4 Space Science Division, Naval Research Laboratory, Code 7674L, Washington DC 20375, USA
Accepted: 21 November 2008
Context. Chandra/HETG observations of the recurrent nova RS Ophiuchi at day 13.9 of its 2006 outburst reveal a spectrum covering a large range in plasma temperature and characterized by asymmetric and blue-shifted emission lines (Nelson et al. 2008; ApJ, 673, 1067; Drake et al. 2008, ApJ, in press).
Aims. We investigate the origin of asymmetries and broadening of the emission lines observed with Chandra/HETG. We explore possible diagnostics of the early blast wave and of the circumstellar medium (CSM) in which the explosion occurred.
Methods. We perform 3D hydrodynamic simulations of the blast wave from the 2006 outburst, propagating through the inhomogeneous CSM. The model takes into account the thermal conduction (including the effects of heat flux saturation) and the radiative cooling. From the simulations, we synthesize the X-ray emission and derive the spectra as they would be observed with Chandra/HETG.
Results. The simulated nova remnant is highly aspherical and the blast wave is efficiently collimated by the inhomogeneous CSM. Our model reproduces the observed X-ray emission in a natural way if the CSM in which the outburst occurred is characterized by an equatorial density enhancement. Our “best-fit” model predicts that most of the early X-ray emission originates from a small region propagating in the direction perpendicular to the line-of-sight and localized just behind the interaction front between the blast wave and the equatorial density enhancement. The model predicts asymmetric and blue-shifted line profiles remarkably similar to those observed. These asymmetries are due to substantial X-ray absorption of red-shifted emission by ejecta material.
Conclusions. The comparison of high quality data of Chandra/HETG with detailed hydrodynamic modeling has allowed us to unveil, for the first time, the details of the structure emitting in the X-ray band in early phases of the outburst evolution, contributing to a better understanding of the physics of interactions between nova blasts and CSM in recurrent novae. This may have implications for whether or not RS Ophiuchi is a type Ia SN progenitor system.
Key words: shock waves / stars: binaries: symbiotic / stars: individual: RS Oph / stars: novae, cataclysmic variables / X-rays: binaries
© ESO, 2009