Eruptive novae in symbiotic systems

Irin Babu Vathachira, Yael Hillman, Amit Kashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We conduct numerical simulations of multiple nova eruptions in detached, widely separated symbiotic systems that include an asymptotic giant branch (AGB) companion to investigate the impact of white dwarf (WD) mass and binary separation on the evolution of the system. The accretion rate is determined using the Bondi–Hoyle–Lyttleton method, incorporating orbital momentum loss caused by factors such as gravitational radiation, magnetic braking, and drag. The WD in such a system accretes matter coming from the strong wind of an AGB companion until it finishes shedding its envelope. This occurs on an evolutionary time-scale of ≈3 × 105 yr. Throughout all simulations, we use a consistent AGB model with an initial mass of 1.0 M while varying the WD mass and binary separation, as they are the critical factors influencing nova eruption behaviour. We find that the accretion rate fluctuates between high and low rates during the evolutionary period, significantly impacted by the AGB’s mass loss rate. We show that unlike novae in cataclysmic variables, the orbital period may either increase or decrease during evolution, depending on the model, while the separation consistently decreases. Furthermore, we have identified cases in which the WDs produce weak, non-ejective novae and experience mass gain. This suggests that provided the accretion efficiency can be achieved by a more massive WD and maintained for long enough, they could potentially serve as progenitors for type Ia supernovae.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4806-4820
Number of pages15
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2024


  • (stars:) binaries: symbiotic
  • (stars:) novae, cataclysmic variables
  • stars: AGB and post-AGB


Dive into the research topics of 'Eruptive novae in symbiotic systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this