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A&A Supplement series, Vol. 129, April I 1998, 23-30

Received July 28; accepted September 12, 1997

UV turn-off times of classical novaegif

R. González-Riestratex2html_wrap1213 gif - M. Oriotex2html_wrap1215 - J. Gallagher tex2html_wrap1217

Send offprint request: R. González-Riestra

tex2html_wrap1219  ESA IUE Observatory, VILSPA, P.O. Box 50727, 28080 Madrid, Spain
tex2html_wrap1221  Physics Department, University of Wisconsin at Madison, U.S.A.
tex2html_wrap1223  Osservatorio Astronomico di Torino, I-10025 Pino Torinese (TO), Italy
tex2html_wrap532  Department of Astronomy, University of Wisconsin at Madison, U.S.A.


We present IUE spectra of classical novae obtained at least one year after the outburst. The UV luminosities are compared with the ROSAT\ observations and significant parameters of the systems. The turn-off times derived from the IUE data are in agreement with the ROSAT results, showing that most novae decline in bolometric luminosity 1-5 years after the outburst. This is a signal of the exhaustion of the fuel in the hydrogen-burning layer on top of the white dwarf. There is not any clear dependence of the turn-off time on the speed class, the chemical composition or other parameters of the system. Data indicate that only a small fraction of the accreted layer is left on the white dwarf after the outburst.

keywords: stars: novae and cataclysmic variables -- stars: white dwarfs -- ultraviolet: stars -- X-rays: stars

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