The 2016 January eruption of recurrent Nova LMC 1968

N. P.M. Kuin, K. L. Page, P. Mróz, M. J. Darnley, S. N. Shore, J. P. Osborne, F. Walter, F. Di Mille, N. Morrell, U. Munari, T. Bohlsen, A. Evans, R. D. Gehrz, S. Starrfield, M. Henze, S. C. Williams, G. J. Schwarz, A. Udalski, M. K. Szymański, R. PoleskiI. Soszyński, V. A.R.M. Ribeiro, R. Angeloni, A. A. Breeveld, A. P. Beardmore, J. Skowron

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We present a comprehensive review of all observations of the eclipsing recurrent Nova LMC 1968 in the Large Magellanic Cloud which was previously observed in eruption in 1968, 1990, 2002, 2010, and most recently in 2016. We derive a probable recurrence time of 6.2 ± 1.2 yr and provide the ephemerides of the eclipse. In the ultraviolet-optical-IR photometry the light curve shows high variability right from the first observation around 2 d after eruption. Therefore no colour changes can be substantiated. Outburst spectra from 2016 and 1990 are very similar and are dominated by H and He lines longward of 2000 Å. Interstellar reddening is found to be E(B − V) = 0.07 ± 0.01. The super soft X-ray luminosity is lower than the Eddington luminosity and the X-ray spectra suggest the mass of the white dwarf (WD) is larger than 1.3 M☉. Eclipses in the light curve suggest that the system is at high orbital inclination. On day 4 after the eruption a recombination wave was observed in Fe II ultraviolet absorption lines. Narrow-line components are seen after day 6 and explained as being due to reionization of ejecta from a previous eruption. The UV spectrum varies with orbital phase, in particular a component of the He II 1640 Å emission line, which leads us to propose that early-on the inner WD Roche lobe might be filled with a bound opaque medium prior to the re-formation of an accretion disc. Both this medium and the ejecta can cause the delay in the appearance of the soft X-ray source.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)655-679
Number of pages25
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The OGLE project received funding by the National Science Center, Poland, under grant MAESTRO 2014/14/A/ST9/00121 to AU. PM acknowledges support from the Foundation for Polish Science (Program START). NPMK, KLP, AAB, APB, and JPO acknowledge support from the U.K. Space Agency. MH acknowledges the support of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO) under the grant FDPI-2013-16933. SS acknowledges partial support from NASA, HST, and NSF grants to ASU. Research in Novae at Stony Brook University is supported in part by NSF grant AST 1614113, with additional research support provided by the Stony Brook University. RDG was supported by NASA and the United States Air Force. VARMR acknowledges financial support from the Fundac¸ão para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) in the form of an exploratory project of reference IF/00498/2015, from the Center for Research & Development in Mathematics and Applications (CIDMA) strategic project UID/MAT/04106/2019, and supported by Enabling Green E-science for the Square Kilometre Array Research Infrastructure (ENGAGE-SKA), POCI-01-0145-FEDER-022217, and PHOBOS, POCI-01-0145-FEDER-029932, funded by Programa Operacional Competitividade e Internacionalizac¸ão (COMPETE 2020) and FCT, Portugal. RA acknowledges financial support from DIDULS Regular PR#17142 by Universidad de La Serena. The Swift data were retrieved from the UK Swift Data centre. IUE spectra were retrieved from the MAST archive. This work makes use of observations from the Las Cumbres Observatory network. We acknowledge with thanks the variable star observations from the AAVSO International Database contributed by observers worldwide and used in this research. We would like to acknowledge Elena Mason, and Bob Williams for discussions, Mike Shara, Kaz Sekiguchi, and David Buckey who tried to chase down old observations of


  • Binaries: eclipsing
  • Cataclysmic variables
  • Novae
  • Stars: individual: (Nova LMC 1968)
  • Ultraviolet: stars
  • X-rays: binaries

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