IRTF Data Archive Program Information

# # Program information file # PROGRAM_ID 2022A041 PROGRAM_TITLE SpeX spectroscopy of Luminous Red Novae PROGRAM_INV1 Mark Rushton PROGRAM_INV2 Marcel Popescu PROGRAM_INV3 Ruxandra Toma PROGRAM_INV4 Cristian Danescu PROGRAM_INV5 PROGRAM_SCICAT stellar PROGRAM_ABSTRACT_BEG Luminous red novae are high amplitude eruptive variables, whose outbursts are widely thought to be caused by stellar mergers. Unlike classical novae, they expand and cool in decline, developing a dense envelope, in which molecules and dust form in abundance. It is believed that stellar merger products contract in the post outburst phase, taking decades to reach a stable configuration, but spectroscopic observations of luminous red novae have been lacking in recent years. We propose 0.7-5.4 micron IRTF/SpeX spectroscopy of two luminous red novae: V838 Mon and V4332 Sgr. We will constrain their evolution and investigate changes revealed by photometry, recently. We also propose to obtain spectra of the mysterious variable NGCA-V84, a suspected luminous red nova, as part of a campaign to monitor its behaviour and determine its status. PROGRAM_ABSTRACT_END