The 2010 nova outburst of the symbiotic Mira V407 Cyg




The nova outburst experienced in 2010 by the symbiotic binary Mira V407 Cyg has been extensively studied at optical and infrared wavelengths with both photometric and spectroscopic observations. This outburst, reminiscent of similar events displayed by RS Oph, can be described as a very fast He/N nova erupting while being deeply embedded in the dense wind of its cool giant companion. The hard radiation from the initial thermonuclear flash ionizes and excites the wind of the Mira over great distances (recombination is observed on a time scale of 4 d). The nova ejecta is found to progressively decelerate with time as it expands into the Mira wind. This is deduced from linewidths which change from a FWHM of 2760 km s−1 on day +2.3 to 200 km s−1 on day +196. The wind of the Mira is massive and extended enough for an outer neutral and unperturbed region to survive at all outburst phases.