Theoretical light curve for the recurrent nova RS ophiuchi - Determination of the white dwarf mass, composition, and distance

Mariko Kato

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Sequences of steady mass-loss solutions are constructed for the envelopes on a white dwarf with mass 1.33, 1.35, 1.36, 1.37, and 1.377 M as models of the decay phase of novae. The envelopes are assumed to have a uniform chemical composition with X = 0.73, 0.6, 0.52, 0.44, 0.33, and 0.11 for hydrogen and Z = 0.02 for heavy elements by weight. An excellent agreement with the observed light curves of UV and optical is obtained in the models with a white dwarf mass of 1.36 M with hydrogen content X = 0.52, and 1.37 M with X = 0.6. The distance to RS Oph is obtained to be 1.6 kpc from the comparison between the theoretical and observed light curves. The success of this wind model is a strong indication from the theoretical point of view that RS Oph is a thermonuclear runaway event.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-474
Number of pages4
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1991 Mar 10



  • Nucleosynthesis
  • Stars: binaries
  • Stars: individual (RS Oph)
  • Stars: mass loss
  • Stars: novae
  • Stars: white dwarfs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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