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The Spitzer Infrared Spectrometer view of V4334 Sgr (Sakurai's Object)




We present an observation of the very late thermal pulse object V4334 Sgr (Sakurai's Object) with the Infrared Spectrometer (IRS) on the Spitzer Space Telescope. The emission from 5–38 μm is dominated by the still-cooling dust shell. A number of features are seen in absorption against the dust shell, which we attribute to HCN and polyyne molecules. We use these features to determine the 12C/13C ratio for the absorbing gas to be ∼3.2+3.2−1.6; this implies that, despite the H-content of the molecules, the hydrocarbon-bearing gas must have originated in material produced in the very late thermal pulse. We see no evidence of emission lines, despite the recently-reported optical and radio observations that suggest the effective temperature of the stellar remnant is rising.