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    Peaking at 3.7 mag on 2020 July 11, YZ Ret was the second-brightest nova of the decade. The nova’s moderate proximity (2.7 kpc, from Gaia) provided an opportunity to explore its multiwavelength properties in great detail. Here, we report on YZ Ret as part of a long-term project to identify the physical mechanisms responsible for high-energy emission in classical novae. We use simultaneous Fermi/LAT and NuSTAR observations complemented by XMM–Newton X-ray grating spectroscopy to probe the physical parameters of the shocked ejecta and the nova-hosting white dwarf. The XMM–Newton observations revealed a supersoft X-ray emission which is dominated by emission lines of C v, C vi, N vi, N vii, and O viii rather than a blackbody-like continuum, suggesting CO-composition of the white dwarf in a high-inclination binary system. Fermi/LAT-detected YZ Ret for 15 d with the γ-ray spectrum best described by a power law with an exponential cut-off at 1.9 ± 0.6 GeV. In stark contrast with theoretical predictions and in keeping with previous NuSTAR observations of Fermi-detected classical novae (V5855 Sgr and V906 Car), the 3.5–78-keV X-ray emission is found to be two orders of magnitude fainter than the GeV emission. The X-ray emission observed by NuSTAR is consistent with a single-temperature thermal plasma model. We do not detect a non-thermal tail of the GeV emission expected to extend down to the NuSTAR band. NuSTAR observations continue to challenge theories of high-energy emission from shocks in novae.

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  2. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT Shocks in γ-ray emitting classical novae are expected to produce bright thermal and non-thermal X-rays. We test this prediction with simultaneous NuSTAR and Fermi/LAT observations of nova V906 Car, which exhibited the brightest GeV γ-ray emission to date. The nova is detected in hard X-rays while it is still γ-ray bright, but contrary to simple theoretical expectations, the detected 3.5–78 keV emission of V906 Car is much weaker than the simultaneously observed >100 MeV emission. No non-thermal X-ray emission is detected, and our deep limits imply that the γ-rays are likely hadronic. After correcting for substantial absorption (NH ≈ 2 × 1023 cm−2), the thermal X-ray luminosity (from a 9 keV optically thin plasma) is just ∼2 per cent of the γ-ray luminosity. We consider possible explanations for the low thermal X-ray luminosity, including the X-rays being suppressed by corrugated, radiative shock fronts or the X-rays from the γ-ray producing shock are hidden behind an even larger absorbing column (NH > 1025 cm−2). Adding XMM–Newton and Swift/XRT observations to our analysis, we find that the evolution of the intrinsic X-ray absorption requires the nova shell to be expelled 24 d after the outburst onset. The X-ray spectra show that the ejecta are enhanced in nitrogen and oxygen, and the nova occurred on the surface of a CO-type white dwarf. We see no indication of a distinct supersoft phase in the X-ray light curve, which, after considering the absorption effects, may point to a low mass of the white dwarf hosting the nova. 
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    We present one-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations including radiative losses, of internal shocks in the outflows from classical novae, to explore the role of shocks in powering multiwavelength emission from radio to gamma-ray wavelengths. Observations support a picture in which the initial phases of some novae generate a slow, equatorially focused outflow (directly from the outer Lagrange point, or from a circumbinary disc), which then transitions to, or is overtaken by, a faster more isotropic outflow from the white dwarf which collides and shocks the slower flow, powering gamma-ray and optical emission through reprocessing by the ejecta. However, the common occurrence of multiple peaks in nova light curves suggests that the outflow’s acceleration need not be monotonic, but instead can involve successive transitions between ‘fast’ and ‘slow’ modes. Such a time-fluctuating outflow velocity naturally can reproduce several observed properties of nova, such as correlated gamma-ray and optical flares, expansion of the photosphere coincident with (though lagging slightly) the peak flare luminosity, and complex time evolution of spectral lines (including accelerating, decelerating, and merging velocity components). While the shocks are still deeply embedded during the gamma-ray emission, the onset of ∼keV X-ray and ∼10 GHz radio synchrotron emission is typically delayed until the forward shock of the outermost monolithic shell (created by merger of multiple internal shock-generated shells) reaches a sufficiently low column through the dense external medium generated by the earliest phase of the outburst.

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