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Infrared observations of the recurrent nova T Pyxidis: ancient dust basks in the warm glow of the 2011 outburst


  • Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA.



We present Spitzer Space Telescope and Herschel Space Observatory infrared observations of the recurrent nova T Pyx during its 2011 eruption, complemented by ground-base optical-infrared photometry. We find that the eruption has heated dust in the pre-existing nebulosity associated with T Pyx. This is most likely interstellar dust swept up by T Pyx – either during previous eruptions or by a wind – rather than the accumulation of dust produced during eruptions.

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