Infrared studies of classical novae and their contributions to the ISM

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14 Scopus citations


We review the use of infrared (IR) observations to quantify the physical parameters of classical nova outbursts and to assess their contributions to the Inter-Stellar Medium (ISM). Metal abundances in the ejecta can be deduced from dust emission features and "coronal" emission. The observations described here can provide basic information about the thermo-nuclear runaway (TNR) that causes the nova explosion, the chemical composition of the white dwarf (WD) upon which the TNR occurs, and the nature of the WD's progenitor star. We conclude that some recent bright novae ejected shells that were extremely overabundant in CNO, Ne, Mg, Al, and Si. The properties of dust produced by novae are reviewed and compared to those of the small grains released from comet nuclei.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-418
Number of pages14
JournalPhysics Report
Issue number3-5
StatePublished - Apr 1999

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author acknowledges support from the NASA, the NSF, and the University of Minnesota Institute of International Studies and Programs.


  • 95.85.Hp
  • 97.30.Qt
  • Classical novae
  • ISM
  • Infrared
  • Stars


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