astrolunch: Laura Chomiuk (Michigan State University)

Wed, 06/10/202117:00-18:00
Title: A Shocking Shift in Paradigm for Classical Novae

Abstract:  Our understanding of classical novae---non-terminal, thermonuclear eruptions on the surfaces of white dwarfs in binary systems---has been turned on its head in the last decade, with the discovery of GeV gamma-rays from Galactic novae. This discovery, attended by theory and observations from across the electromagnetic spectrum, has highlighted the complexity of novae and their value as laboratories for studying shocks and particle acceleration. Drawing connections with other interaction-powered transients like Type IIn supernovae, I will discuss where and how shocks form in the nova ejecta, why we think the shocks can actually dominate the energy budget of the nova eruption, and some of the consequences of the shocks, including dust formation and acceleration of particles to very high energies.