V1647 Orionis: Reinvigorated Accretion and the Re-Appearance of McNeil's Nebula

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In late 2003, the young eruptive variable star V1647 Orionis optically brightened by over 5 mag, stayed bright for around 26 months, and then declined to its pre-outburst level. In 2008 August, the star was reported to have unexpectedly brightened yet again and we herein present the first detailed observations of this new outburst. Photometrically, the star is now as bright as it ever was following the 2003 eruption. Spectroscopically, a pronounced P Cygni profile is again seen in H alpha with an absorption trough extending to -700 km s(-1). In the near-infrared, the spectrum now possesses very weak CO overtone bandhead absorption in contrast to the strong bandhead emission seen soon after the 2003 event. Water vapor absorption is also much stronger than previously seen. We discuss the current outburst below and relate it to the earlier event.