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Paper: V838 Mon and M31-RV: The Stellar Populations Angle
Volume: 363, The Nature of V838 Mon and its Light Echo
Page: 189
Authors: Siegel, M.H.; Bond, H.E.
Abstract: Insight into the origin of unusual events like the eruption of V838 Mon can be obtained from studies of the stellar populations from which they arise. V838 Mon lies in an intriguing region of the Galaxy, toward the warped outer edge of the disk, with significant contributions from the Galactic thick disk and the recently discovered Monoceros tidal stream. The initial distance measurements placed V838 Mon in a jumbled region of the Galaxy but the recent shorter distances make it highly likely that V838 Mon was a thin disk star – likely in a spiral arm – consistent with the recent detection of a young cluster in the vicinity. We compare V838 Mon to M31-RV, a red variable that erupted in the bulge of M31 in 1988 and had a peak luminosity and spectral evolution very similar to V838 Mon. Archival HST images show no nebulosity or unusual stars at M31-RVís projected location. Moreover, the only stellar population in the field is a canonic old bulge population. This indicates that whatever the origin of the red novae, the mechanism is likely to be independent of age and progenitor mass. In particular, the B3V star seen in V838 Mon is not a necessary part of the eruption mechanism.
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