The recurrent nova U Scorpii most recently erupted in 2010. Our collaboration observed the eruption in bands ranging from the Swift XRT and UVOT w2 (193 nm) to K-band (2200 nm), with a few serendipitous observations stretching down to WISE W2 (4600 nm). Considering the time and wavelength coverage, this is the most comprehensively observed nova eruption to date. We present here the resulting multi-wavelength light curve covering the two months of the eruption as well as a few months into quiescence. For the first time, a U Sco eruption has been followed all the way back to quiescence, leading to the discovery of new features in the light curve, including a second, as-yet-unexplained, plateau in the optical and near-infrared. Using this light curve we show that U Sco nearly fits the broken power law decline predicted by Hachisu & Kato, with decline indices of -1.71 ï¿½0.02 and -3.36 ï¿½0.14. With our unprecedented multi-wavelength coverage, we construct daily spectral energy distributions and then calculate the total radiated energy of the eruption,Erad =6.990.83-0.571044erg. From that, we estimate the total amount of mass ejected by the eruption to bemej 2.10 +0.24-0.17 10-6M⊙. We compare this to the total amount of mass accreted by U Sco before the eruption, to determine whether the white dwarf undergoes a net mass loss or gain, but find that the values for the amount of mass accreted are not precise enough to make a useful comparison.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Pagnotta, A., Schaefer, B., Clem, J., Landolt, A., Handler, G., Page, K., Osborne, J., Schlegel, E., Hoffman, D., Kiyota, S., & Maehara, H. (2015). THE 2010 ERUPTION of the RECURRENT NOVA U SCORPII: The MULTI-WAVELENGTH LIGHT CURVE. Astrophysical Journal, 811 (1) https://doi.org/10.1088/0004-637X/811/1/32