Colloquium

Gamma-Ray Emission from Novae

Four years ago, while surveying the high-energy sky, the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on the Fermi satellite unexpectedly detected gamma-rays from a nova explosion. This past summer, after several more such detections, the Fermi/LAT team reported that normal novae constitute a new class of gamma-ray sources. Earlier this month, collaborators and I published high spatial-resolution radio imaging of nova V959 Mon that revealed the origin of these gamma-rays. Our observations showed that V959 Mon produced multiple distinct outflows. We saw that when these outflows collided with each other, the resulting shocks accelerated particles to relativistic speeds, enabling them to generate gamma-rays. I will describe our findings and their implications.

Followed by wine and cheese in Pupin 1402.

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