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The Far Ultraviolet Spectrum of Z Cam in Quiescence and Standstill 1

By Louise E. Hartley, Knox S. Long, Cynthia S. Froning and Janet E. Drew


We have obtained Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (905–1187˚A) spectra of the non-magnetic cataclysmic variable Z Cam during a period of quiescence. The spectrum resembles that of a hot (57,000K) metal-enriched white dwarf. A high effective temperature is consistent with the expectation that dwarf nova systems that show standstills, as Z Cam does, have higher than normal timeaveraged mass accretion rates. It is also consistent with current estimates for the mass and distance to Z Cam. A white dwarf model in which 29 % of the surface has a temperature of 72,000 K and the rest of the surface is at 26,000K also reproduces the spectral shape and the continuum flux level at the nominal distance and WD mass, and is a somewhat better statistical fit to the data. A second component could be due to a rotating accretion belt, a remnant of an outburst that ended eleven days prior to the FUSE observation, or ongoing accretion. We favor the uniform temperature model for Z Cam, largely because – 2 – the data do not require anything more complicated. We have compared th

Year: 2004
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