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Charles E. Woodward

Swift detection of the super-swift switch-on of the super-soft phase in nova V745 Sco (2014)
Page, K. L.; Osborne, J. P.; Kuin, N. P. M.; Henze, M.; Walter, F. M.; Beardmore, A. P.; Woodward, C.E.; and 11 coauthors, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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V745 Sco is a recurrent nova, with the most recent eruption occurring in February 2014. V745 Sco was first observed by Swift a mere 3.7 h after the announcement of the optical discovery, with the super-soft X-ray emission being detected around 4 d later and lasting for only ~2 d, making it both the fastest follow-up of a nova by Swift and the earliest switch-on of super-soft emission yet detected. Such an early switch-on time suggests a combination of a very high velocity outflow and low ejected mass and, together with the high effective temperature reached by the super-soft emission, a high mass white dwarf (>1.3 M⊙). The X-ray spectral evolution was followed from an early epoch where shocked emission was evident, through the entirety of the super-soft phase, showing evolving column density, emission lines, absorption edges, and thermal continuum temperature. UV grism data were also obtained throughout the super-soft interval, with the spectra showing mainly emission lines from lower ionization transitions and the Balmer continuum in emission. V745 Sco is compared with both V2491 Cyg (another nova with a very short super-soft phase) and M31N 2008-12a (the most rapidly recurring nova yet discovered). The longer recurrence time compared to M31N 2008-12a could be due to a lower mass accretion rate, although inclination of the system may also play a part. Nova V745 Sco (2014) revealed the fastest evolving super-soft source phase yet discovered, providing a detailed and informative data set for study.