We present results for IUE, optical and IR observations of Nova Muscae 1983, from early outburst to January 1986 obtained by the European IUE Target of Opportunity Team. A detailed description of the data will appear elsewhere (Hassall et al., 1989), but here we summarise the most important results.
The outburst lightcurve initially indicated a fast speed class for this nova, but was later characterised by a rather slow optical decline with two or more secondary outbursts with sudden doubling of the bolometric flux. In Figure 1, we show the contributions of X-ray, UV, optical and IR to the total luminosity for 1200 days following outburst, assuming a distance of 4.3kpc and an interstellar extinction E(B-V)=0.5. In the absence of dust formation, first the UV and later the X-ray flux (Ögelman et al, 1984) dominate the radiative energy late into the nebular phase. There was a plateau stage lasting about 500 days, with a bolometric luminosity of ~ 1038ergs s−1 near the Eddington limit. The secondary outbursts were thus super-Eddington. We estimate a total outburst energy (including kinetic and gravitational potential energy of the ejecta) of ~ 5·l046 ergs, corresponding to a mass of ~ 4·10−6
º of hydrogen burnt in the thermonuclear runaway.