Photo-ionization induced rapid grain growth in novae

S. N. Shore, R. D. Gehrz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


An elementary model is developed for grain growth during the expansion stage of nova ejecta. Rather than suppressing grain formation, we argue that agglomeration of atoms by dust nuclei proceeds kinetically through induced dipole reactions in a partially ionized medium. Ionization of a cluster increases once the ejecta become transparent in the ultraviolet which triggers runaway grain growth. This mechanism may also be important in other dust-forming hot stars such as Luminous Blue Variables and Wolf-Rayet systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)695-699
Number of pages5
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2004


  • ISM: dust, extinction
  • Stars: mass-loss
  • Stars: novae, cataclysmic variables


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