The first nova eruption in a novalike variable: YZ Ret as seen in X-rays and γ-rays

Kirill V. Sokolovsky, Kwan Lok Li, Raimundo Lopes De Oliveira, Jan Uwe Ness, Koji Mukai, Laura Chomiuk, Elias Aydi, Elad Steinberg, Indrek Vurm, Brian D. Metzger, Aliya Nur Babul, Adam Kawash, Justin D. Linford, Thomas Nelson, Kim L. Page, Michael P. Rupen, Jennifer L. Sokoloski, Jay Strader, David Kilkenny

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8 Scopus citations


Peaking at 3.7 mag on 2020 July 11, YZ Ret was the second-brightest nova of the decade. The nova's moderate proximity (2.7 kpc, from Gaia) provided an opportunity to explore its multiwavelength properties in great detail. Here, we report on YZ Ret as part of a long-term project to identify the physical mechanisms responsible for high-energy emission in classical novae. We use simultaneous Fermi/LAT and NuSTAR observations complemented by XMM-Newton X-ray grating spectroscopy to probe the physical parameters of the shocked ejecta and the nova-hosting white dwarf. The XMM-Newton observations revealed a supersoft X-ray emission which is dominated by emission lines of C v, C vi, N vi, N vii, and O viii rather than a blackbody-like continuum, suggesting CO-composition of the white dwarf in a high-inclination binary system. Fermi/LAT-detected YZ Ret for 15 d with the ?-ray spectrum best described by a power law with an exponential cut-off at 1.9 ± 0.6 GeV. In stark contrast with theoretical predictions and in keeping with previous NuSTAR observations of Fermi-detected classical novae (V5855 Sgr and V906 Car), the 3.5-78-keV X-ray emission is found to be two orders of magnitude fainter than the GeV emission. The X-ray emission observed by NuSTAR is consistent with a single-temperature thermal plasma model. We do not detect a non-thermal tail of the GeV emission expected to extend down to the NuSTAR band. NuSTAR observations continue to challenge theories of high-energy emission from shocks in novae.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)2239-2258
Number of pages20
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society.


  • Cataclysmic variables
  • Stars: Individual: Yz ret
  • Stars: Novae
  • Stars: White dwarfs


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