The phase of supersoft source (SSS) emission of the sixth recorded outburst of the recurrent nova RS Oph was observed on days 39.7 and 66.9 after outburst with Chandra and on day 54.0 with XMM-Newton. A ∼35 s period on day 54.0 originates from the SSS emission and not from the shock. We discuss the bound-free absorption by neutral elements in the line of sight, resonance absorption lines plus self-absorbed emission-line components, collisionally excited emission lines from the shock, He-like intersystem lines, and spectral changes during an episode of highamplitude variability. We find a decrease of the oxygen K-shell absorption edge that can be explained by photoionization of oxygen. The absorption component has average velocities of -1286 ± 267 km s-1 on day 39.7 and of -771 ± 65 km s-1 on day 66.9. The wavelengths of the emission-line components are at rest wavelengths, as confirmed by measurements of non-self-absorbed He-like intersystem lines. We found collisionally excited emission lines from the radiatively cooling shock at wavelengths shorter than 15 Å that are systematically blueshifted by -526 ± 114 km s-1 on day 39.7 and are fading. We found anomalous He-likef/i ratios, which indicates either high densities or significant UV radiation near the plasma where the emission lines are formed. During the phase of strong variability the spectral hardness light curve overlies the total light curve when shifted by 1000 s. This can be explained by photoionization of neutral oxygen in the line of sight if the densities are of order 10 10-1011 cm-3.
- Cataclysmic variables
- Stars: Individual (RS Ophiuchi)
- X-rays: Stars