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Very Long Baseline Interferometry imaging of the advancing ejecta in the first gamma-ray nova V407 Cyg

Abstract : In 2010/3, the Large Area Telescope on board Fermi revealed a transient gamma-ray source, positionally coincident with the optical nova in the symbiotic binary, V407Cyg. This event marked the first discovery of gamma-ray emission from a nova. We aimed to obtain resolved radio imaging of the material involved in the nova event; to determine the ejecta geometry and advance velocity directly in the image plane; to constrain the physical conditions of the system. We observed the source with the EVN and the VLBA over 16 epochs, between 20 days and 6 months after the optical discovery. The source is initially very dim but it later shows a substantial increase in brightness and a resolved shell-like structure 40 to 90 days after the optical event. The shell has a projected elliptical shape and is asymmetric in brightness and spectral index, being brighter and characterised by a rising spectrum at the S-E edge. We determine a projected velocity of ~3500 km/s in the initial phase, and ~2100 km/s between day 20 and 91. We also found an emitting feature about 350 mas (940 AU) to the N-W, advancing at a projected velocity of ~700 km/s along the polar axis of the binary. The total flux density in the VLBI images is significantly lower than that previously reported at similar epochs and over much wider angular scales with the VLA. Optical spectra demonstrated that in 2010 we were viewing V407Cyg along the equatorial plane and from behind the Mira. Our radio observations image the bipolar flow of the ejecta perpendicular to the orbital plane, where deceleration is much lower than through the equatorial plane probed by the truncated profile of optical emission lines. The separated polar knot at 350 mas and the bipolar flow strictly resemble the similar arrangement seen in Hen 2-104. The observed ~700 km/s expansion constrains the launch-date of the polar knot around 2004. [Abridged]
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M. Giroletti, U. Munari, E. Kording, A. Mioduszewski, J. Sokoloski, et al.. Very Long Baseline Interferometry imaging of the advancing ejecta in the first gamma-ray nova V407 Cyg. 2020. ⟨hal-02863195⟩

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