LMC-N66: A potential SN Ia progenitor?

W.-R. Hamann1, M. Pena2, G. Gräfener1

1Universität Potsdam, Institut für Physik, Astrophysik
2Instituto de Astronomia, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

The planetary nebula N66 in the Large Magellanic Cloud is an exceptional object, as its central star has a Wolf-Rayet type spectrum of the nitrogen sequence ([WN]). Moreover, the star showed a dramatic brightness outburst in 1993--1994. We analyzed the changing stellar spectra and found evidence that the central star is most likely a binary system where a white dwarf accretes matter from a non-degenerate companion at a high rate. We also studied the morphology and kinematic of the nebula. Its complex multipolar structure can be explained as result of episodic bipolar ejections from a precessing source, giving further evidence for the binary nature of the central object. Due to the high rate of mass transfer, the object is a candidate for a future type Ia supernova in our cosmic neighborhood.

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