Wednesday, January 9, 2013

1301.1660 (M. Hernanz)

Novae in gamma-rays    [PDF]

M. Hernanz
Classical novae produce radioactive nuclei which are emitters of gamma-rays in the MeV range. Some examples are the lines at 478 and 1275 keV (from 7Be and 22Na) and the positron-electron annihilation emission (511 keV line and a continuum below this energy, with a cut-off at 20-30 keV). The analysis of gamma-ray spectra and light curves is a potential unique and powerful tool both to trace the corresponding isotopes and to give insights on the properties of the expanding envelope determining its transparency. Another possible origin of gamma-rays is the acceleration of particles up to very high energies, so that either neutral pions or inverse Compton processes produce gamma-rays of energies larger than 100 MeV. MeV photons during nova explosions have not been detected yet, although several attempts have been made in the last decades; on the other hand, GeV photons from novae have been detected in some particular novae, in symbiotic binaries, where the companion is a red giant with a wind, instead of a main sequence star as in the cataclysmic variables hosting classical novae. Both mechanisms of gamma-ray production in novae are reviewed, with more emphasis on the one related to radioactivities.
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