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    The discovery that many classical novae produce detectable GeV γ-ray emission has raised the question of the role of shocks in nova eruptions. Here, we use radio observations of nova V809 Cep (nova Cep 2013) with the Jansky Very Large Array to show that it produced non-thermal emission indicative of particle acceleration in strong shocks for more than a month starting about 6 weeks into the eruption, quasi-simultaneous with the production of dust. Broadly speaking, the radio emission at late times – more than 6 months or so into the eruption – is consistent with thermal emission from $10^{-4}\, {\rm M}_\odot$ of freely expanding, 104 K ejecta. At 4.6 and 7.4 GHz, however, the radio light curves display an initial early-time peak 76 d after the discovery of the eruption in the optical (t0). The brightness temperature at 4.6 GHz on day 76 was greater than 105 K, an order of magnitude above what is expected for thermal emission. We argue that the brightness temperature is the result of synchrotron emission due to internal shocks within the ejecta. The evolution of the radio spectrum was consistent with synchrotron emission that peaked at high frequencies before low frequencies, suggesting that the synchrotron from the shock was initially subject to free–free absorption by optically thick ionized material in front of the shock. Dust formation began around day 37, and we suggest that internal shocks in the ejecta were established prior to dust formation and caused the nucleation of dust.

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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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  3. Abstract We report on the detection and analysis of extended X-ray emission by the Chandra X-ray Observatory stemming from the 2006 eruption of the recurrent nova RS Oph. The extended emission was detected 1254 and 1927 days after the start of the 2006 eruption and is consistent with a bipolar flow oriented in the East–West direction of the sky with opening angles of approximately 70°. The length of both lobes appeared to expand from 1.″3 in 2009 to 2.″0 in 2011, suggesting a projected expansion rate of 1.1 ± 0.1 mas day −1 and an expansion velocity of 4600 km s −1 ( D /2.4 kpc) in the plane of the sky. This expansion rate is consistent with previous estimates from optical and radio observations of material in a similar orientation. The X-ray emission does not show any evidence of cooling between 2009 and 2011, consistent with free expansion of the material. This discovery suggests that some mechanism collimates ejecta away from the equatorial plane, and that after that material passes through the red giant wind, it expands freely into the cavity left by the 1985 eruption. We expect similar structures to arise from the latest eruption and to expand into the cavity shaped by the 2006 eruption. 
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  4. Abstract We present radio observations (1–40 GHz) for 36 classical novae, representing data from over five decades compiled from the literature, telescope archives, and our own programs. Our targets display a striking diversity in their optical parameters (e.g., spanning optical fading timescales, t 2 = 1–263 days), and we find a similar diversity in the radio light curves. Using a brightness temperature analysis, we find that radio emission from novae is a mixture of thermal and synchrotron emission, with nonthermal emission observed at earlier times. We identify high brightness temperature emission ( T B > 5 × 10 4 K) as an indication of synchrotron emission in at least nine (25%) of the novae. We find a class of synchrotron-dominated novae with mildly evolved companions, exemplified by V5589 Sgr and V392 Per, that appear to be a bridge between classical novae with dwarf companions and symbiotic binaries with giant companions. Four of the novae in our sample have two distinct radio maxima (the first dominated by synchrotron and the later by thermal emission), and in four cases the early synchrotron peak is temporally coincident with a dramatic dip in the optical light curve, hinting at a common site for particle acceleration and dust formation. We publish the light curves in a machine-readable table and encourage the use of these data by the broader community in multiwavelength studies and modeling efforts. 
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  5. Abstract The nova rate in the Milky Way remains largely uncertain, despite its vital importance in constraining models of Galactic chemical evolution as well as understanding progenitor channels for Type Ia supernovae. The rate has been previously estimated to be in the range of ≈10–300 yr −1 , either based on extrapolations from a handful of very bright optical novae or the nova rates in nearby galaxies; both methods are subject to debatable assumptions. The total discovery rate of optical novae remains much smaller (≈5–10 yr −1 ) than these estimates, even with the advent of all-sky optical time-domain surveys. Here, we present a systematic sample of 12 spectroscopically confirmed Galactic novae detected in the first 17 months of Palomar Gattini-IR (PGIR), a wide-field near-infrared time-domain survey. Operating in the J band (≈1.2 μ m), which is significantly less affected by dust extinction compared to optical bands, the extinction distribution of the PGIR sample is highly skewed to a large extinction values (>50% of events obscured by A V ≳ 5 mag). Using recent estimates for the distribution of Galactic mass and dust, we show that the extinction distribution of the PGIR sample is commensurate with dust models. The PGIR extinction distribution is inconsistent with that reported in previous optical searches (null-hypothesis probability <0.01%), suggesting that a large population of highly obscured novae have been systematically missed in previous optical searches. We perform the first quantitative simulation of a 3 π time-domain survey to estimate the Galactic nova rate using PGIR, and derive a rate of ≈ 43.7 − 8.7 + 19.5 yr −1 . Our results suggest that all-sky near-infrared time-domain surveys are well poised to uncover the Galactic nova population. 
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