The effect of dust obscuration in RR Telescopii on optical and IR long-term photometry and FeII emission lines

Francis Keenan, Don Pollacco, D. Kotnik-Karuza, M. Friedjung, P.A. Whitelock, F. Marang, K. Exter

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Aims. Infrared and optical photometric and spectroscopic observations of the symbiotic nova RR Tel are used to study the effects and properties of dust in symbiotic binaries containing a cool Mira component, as well as showing "obscuration events" of increased absorption, which are typical for such Miras. Methods. A set of photometric observations of the symbiotic nova RR Tel in different wavelength bands - visual from 1949 to 2002 and near-infrared (JHKL) from 1975 to 2002 - are presented. The variability due to the normal Mira pulsation was removed from the JHKL data, which were then compared with the American Association of Variable Star Observers' (AAVSO) visual light curve. The changes of the Fe II emission line fluxes during the 1996-2000 obscuration episode were studied in the optical spectra taken with the Anglo-Australian telescope. Results. We discuss the three periods during which the Mira component was heavily obscured by dust as observed in the different wavelength bands. A change in the correlations of J with other infrared magnitudes was observed with the colour becoming redder after JD 2 446 600. Generally, J-K was comparable, while K-L was larger than typical values for singleMiras. A distance estimate of 2.5 kpc, based on the IR data, is given. A larger flux decrease for the permitted than for the forbidden Fe II lines, during the obscuration episode studied, has been found. There is no evidence for other correlations with line properties, in particular with wavelength, which suggests obscuration due to separate optically thick clouds in the outer layers. Conclusions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-510
Number of pages8
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006

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