We present the results of a five year nova survey of NGC 5128 performed with an Hα filter at the prime focus of the CTIO 4 m telescope. In all, 16 novae were detected, of which 12 are members of a statistically complete and homogeneous sample unaffected by the absorption lane of the galaxy. When normalized to B luminosity, the nova rate in the elliptical component of NGC 5128 is 2.7 ± 1.0 times less than that observed in the bulge of M31. However, when normalized in the infrared K bandpass, the two nova rates are identical, and comparable to that measured in the Large Magellanic Cloud. These data suggest that (1) the percentage of binary stars is approximately constant over a large range of star-forming environments, (2) the nova rate in our own galaxy is between 11 and 46 yr-1, and (3) nova rates are not strongly affected by tidal captures in bright globular clusters.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science