Jennifer H. Weston

Jennifer H. Weston
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Jennifer H. Weston

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Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (9)
High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (8)
Astrophysics of Galaxies (1)

Publications Authored By Jennifer H. Weston

It has recently been discovered that some, if not all, classical novae emit GeV gamma-rays during outburst, but the mechanics of this gamma-ray emission are still not well understood. We present here a comprehensive, multi-wavelength dataset---from radio to X-rays---for the most gamma-ray luminous classical nova to-date, V1324 Sco. Using this dataset, we show that V1324 Sco is a canonical dusty Fe-II type nova, with a bulk ejecta velocity of $1150 \pm 40~\rm km~s^{-1}$ and an ejecta mass of $2. Read More

Since the Fermi discovery of $\gamma$-rays from novae, one of the biggest questions in the field has been how novae generate such high-energy emission. Shocks must be a fundamental ingredient. Six months of radio observations of the 2012 nova V5589 Sgr with the VLA and 15 weeks of X-ray observations with Swift/XRT show that the radio emission consisted of: 1) a shock-powered, non-thermal flare; and 2) weak thermal emission from $10^{-5}$ M$_\odot$ of freely expanding, photoionized ejecta. Read More

The importance of shocks in nova explosions has been highlighted by Fermi's discovery of \gamma-ray producing novae. Over three years of multi-band VLA radio observations of the 2010 nova V1723 Aql show that shocks between fast and slow flows within the ejecta led to the acceleration of particles and the production of synchrotron radiation. Soon after the start of the eruption, shocks in the ejecta produced an unexpected radio flare, resulting in a multi-peaked radio light curve. Read More

Classical novae are the most common astrophysical thermonuclear explosions, occurring on the surfaces of white dwarf stars accreting gas from companions in binary star systems. Novae typically expel ~10^(-4) solar masses of material at velocities exceeding 1,000 kilometres per second. However, the mechanism of mass ejection in novae is poorly understood, and could be dominated by the impulsive flash of thermonuclear energy, prolonged optically thick winds, or binary interaction with the nova envelope. Read More

The recurrent nova T Pyx underwent its sixth historical outburst in 2011, and became the subject of an intensive multi-wavelength observational campaign. We analyze data from the Swift and Suzaku satellites to produce a detailed X-ray light curve augmented by epochs of spectral information. X-ray observations yield mostly non-detections in the first four months of outburst, but both a super-soft and hard X-ray component rise rapidly after Day 115. Read More

The radio light curves of novae rise and fall over the course of months to years, allowing for detailed observations of the evolution of the nova shell. However, the main parameter determined by radio models of nova explosions - the mass of the ejecta - often seems to exceed theoretical expectations by an order of magnitude. With the recent technological improvements on the Karl G. Read More

Novae, which are the sudden visual brightening triggered by runaway thermonuclear burning on the surface of an accreting white dwarf, are fairly common and bright events. Despite their astronomical significance as nearby laboratories for the study of nuclear burning and accretion phenomena, many aspects of these common stellar explosions are observationally not well-constrained and remain poorly understood. Radio observations, modeling and interpretation can potentially play a crucial role in addressing some of these puzzling issues. Read More

Despite being the prototype of its class, T Pyx is arguably the most unusual and poorly understood recurrent nova. Here, we use radio observations from the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array to trace the evolution of the ejecta over the course of the 2011 outburst of T Pyx. Read More

We present multi-frequency radio observations of the 2010 nova event in the symbiotic binary V407 Cygni, obtained with the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array and spanning 1-45 GHz and 17-770 days following discovery. This nova---the first ever detected in gamma rays---shows a radio light curve dominated by the wind of the Mira giant companion, rather than the nova ejecta themselves. Read More