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Title: Evidence for Multiple Shocks from the γ-Ray Emission of RS Ophiuchi

In 2021 August, the Fermi Large Area Telescope, H.E.S.S., and MAGIC detected GeV and TeVγ-ray emission from an outburst of recurrent nova RS Ophiuchi. This detection represents the first very high-energyγ-rays observed from a nova, and it opens a new window to study particle acceleration. Both H.E.S.S. and MAGIC described the observedγ-rays as arising from a single, external shock. In this paper, we perform detailed, multi-zone modeling of RS Ophiuchi’s 2021 outburst, including a self-consistent prescription for particle acceleration and magnetic field amplification. We demonstrate that, contrary to previous work, a single shock cannot simultaneously explain RS Ophiuchi’s GeV and TeV emission, in particular the spectral shape and distinct light-curve peaks. Instead, we put forward a model involving multiple shocks that reproduces the observedγ-ray spectrum and temporal evolution. The simultaneous appearance of multiple distinct velocity components in the nova optical spectrum over the first several days of the outburst supports the presence of distinct shocks, which may arise either from the strong latitudinal dependence of the density of the external circumbinary medium (e.g., in the binary equatorial plane versus the poles) or due to internal collisions within the white dwarf ejecta (which power theγ-ray emission in classical novae).

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Award ID(s):
2010240 1909778 2009326 1751874
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.3847
Date Published:
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal
Medium: X Size: Article No. 70
["Article No. 70"]
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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