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Hubble space telescope STIS spectroscopy of the peculiar nova-like variables BK Lyn, V751 Cygni, and V380 Oph

By Robert Zellem, Nicholas Hollon, Ronald-Louis Ballouz, Edward M. Sion, Patrick Godon, B. T. (Boris T.) Gänsicke and Knox S. Long

Abstract

We obtained Hubble STIS spectra of three nova-like variables: V751 Cygni, V380 Oph, and—the only confirmed nova-like variable known to be below the period gap—BK Lyn. In all three systems, the spectra were taken during high optical brightness state, and a luminous accretion disk dominates their far-ultraviolet (FUV) light. We assessed a lower limit of the distances by applying the infrared photometric method of Knigge. Within the limitations imposed by the poorly known system parameters (such as the inclination, white dwarf mass, and the applicability of steady state accretion disks) we obtained satisfactory fits to BK Lyn using optically thick accretion disk models with an accretion rate of for a white dwarf mass of Mwd = 1.2M and for Mwd = 0.4M. However, for the VY Scl-type nova-like variable V751 Cygni and for the SW Sex star V380 Oph, we are unable to obtain satisfactory synthetic spectral fits to the high state FUV spectra using optically thick steady state accretion disk models. The lack of FUV spectra information down to the Lyman limit hinders the extraction of information about the accreting white dwarf during the high states of these nova-like systems

Topics: QB
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:2390

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Citations

  1. (2005). Cataclysmic Variable Stars (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. doi

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