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Publication Date


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The Astrophysical Journal


The American Astronomical Society


The potential for observing annihilation gamma rays from novae is investigated. These gamma rays, a unique signature of the thermonuclear runaway models of novae, would result from the annihilation of positrons emitted by beta(+)-unstable nuclei produced near the peak of the runaway and carried by rapid convection to the surface of the nova envelope. Simple models, which are extensions of detailed published models, of the expansion of the nova atmospheres are evolved. These models serve as input into investigations of the fate of nearby Galactic fast novae could yield detectable fluxes of electron-positron annihilation gamma rays produced by the decay of N-13 and F-18. Although nuclear gamma-ray lines are produced by other nuclei, it is unlikely that the fluxes at typical nova distances would be detectable to present and near-future instruments.