New insights from early spectra of the bright Nova Vela 1999
December 15, 2020
Nova Vela 1999 (V382 Vel) went into outburst in 1999, reaching a maximum of V ~ 3 mag on 22 May. It was observed spectroscopically with the 1.9 m telescope at the South African Astronomical Observatory two days after maximum. Three sets of spectra, covering the full visual range, were collected at UT 16h47, 19h23 and 22h02 respectively. The evolution of Nova Vela 1999 was studied extensively by a number of research teams during the months (and years) after maximum in wavebands ranging from the infrared to x-rays. Observing modes covered by these investigations include spectroscopy and high-speed photometry. Noting that these previous studies are entirely based on spectra obtained no earlier than 5 days after maximum, we revisit our data secured closer to the time of outburst, and we explore whether new insights may be gained into the properties of Nova Vela 1999, since classified a fast, Neon-class nova. We identify emission lines, determining components, relative line strengths and line profiles. This paper presents the outcome of this investigation.
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