A universal decline law of classical novae. IV. V838 her (1991): A very massive white dwarf

Mariko Kato, Izumi Hachisu, Angelo Cassatella

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24 Citations (Scopus)


We present a unified model of optical and ultraviolet (UV) light curves for one of the fastest classical novae, V838 Herculis (Nova Herculis 1991), and estimate its white dwarf (WD) mass. Based on an optically thick wind theory of nova outbursts, we model the optical light curves with free-free emission and the UV 1455 Å light curves with blackbody emission. Our models of 1.35 0.02 M WD simultaneously reproduce the optical and UV 1455 observations. The mass lost by the wind is ΔM wind ∼ 2 × 10-6 M . We provide new determinations of the reddening, E(B - V) = 0.53 0.05, and of the distance, 2.7±0.5 kpc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1676-1688
Number of pages13
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jan 1



  • Cataclysmic variables
  • Novae
  • Stars: individual (V838 Herculis)
  • Stars: mass loss
  • Ultraviolet: stars
  • White dwarfs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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