Observations of the optical transient in NGC 300 with AKARI/IRC: Possibilities of asymmetric dust formation

R. Ohsawa, I. Sakon, T. Onaka, M. Tanaka, T. Moriya, T. Nozawa, K. Maeda, K. Nomoto, N. Tominaga, F. Usui, H. Matsuhara, T. Nakagawa, H. Murakami

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9 Citations (Scopus)


We present the results of near-infrared (NIR) multi-epoch observations of the optical transient in the nearby galaxy NGC 300 (NGC 300-OT) at 398 and 582 days after the discovery with the Infrared Camera (IRC) on board AKARI. NIR spectra (2-5μm) of NGC 300-OT were obtained for the first time. They show no prominent emission nor absorption features, but are dominated by continuum thermal emission from the dust around NGC 300-OT. NIR images were taken in the 2.4, 3.2, and 4.1μm bands. The spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of NGC 300-OT indicate the dust temperature of 810 ±14K at 398 days and 670 ±12K at 582 days. We attribute the observed NIR emission to the thermal emission from dust grains formed in the ejecta of NGC 300-OT. The multi-epoch observations enable us to estimate the dust optical depth as ≳12 at 398 days and ≳6 at 582 days at 2.4μm by assuming an isothermal dust cloud. The observed NIR emission must be optically thick, unless the amount of dust grains increases with time. Little extinction at visible wavelengths reported in earlier observations suggests that the dust cloud around NGC 300-OT should be distributed inhomogeneously so as to not screen the radiation from the ejecta gas and the central star. The present results suggest the dust grains are not formed in a spherically symmetric geometry, but rather in a torus, a bipolar outflow, or clumpy cloudlets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1456-1459
Number of pages4
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Aug 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Circumstellar matter
  • Dust, extinction
  • Stars: evolution
  • Stars: variables: general
  • Stars: winds, outflows

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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