1,580 research outputs found

    The secondary star and distance of the polar V1309 Ori

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    The first phase-resolved JHK light curves of the eclipsing polar (AM Herculis binary) V1309 Ori are presented and interpreted. We separate the contributions from the secondary star and from other sources with the aim of determining a photometric distance. Simple model calculations show that the accretion stream and the cyclotron source on the accreting white dwarf are minor contributors to the infrared light, allowing an accurate determination of spectral type and absolute flux of the secondary star. The unilluminated backside of the secondary star as seen in eclipse has spectral type dM0 to dM0+. Its dereddened magnitude is K = 13.58 at orbital phase phi = 0 (eclipse). Using the calibrated surface brightness of M-stars and the published mass of the secondary, M2 = 0.46 Msun, we obtain a distance d = 600 +/- 25 pc which scales as M2^(1/2). The radius of the Roche-lobe filling secondary exceeds the main-sequence radius of an M0 star by 21 +11/-6 %. The debated origin of the infrared light of V1309 Ori has been settled in favor of the secondary star as the main contributor and an accurate distance has been derived that will place estimates of the luminosity and synchronization time scale on a more secure basis.Comment: 5 pages, 3 figures, accepted for publication in Astronomy and Astrophysic

    Uncertainties in (E)UV model atmosphere fluxes

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    During the comparison of synthetic spectra calculated with two NLTE model atmosphere codes, namely TMAP and TLUSTY, we encounter systematic differences in the EUV fluxes due to the treatment of level dissolution by pressure ionization. Systematic differences may occur due to a code-specific cutoff frequency of the H I Lyman bound-free opacity. This is the case for TMAP and TLUSTY. Both codes predict the same flux level at wavelengths lower than about 1500 A for stars with effective temperatures below about 30000K only, if the same cutoff frequency is chosen. In the case of Sirius B, we demonstrate an uncertainty in modeling the EUV flux reliably in order to challenge theoreticians to improve the theory of level dissolution. The theory of level dissolution in high-density plasmas, which is available for hydrogen only should be generalized to all species. Especially, the cutoff frequencies for the bound-free opacities should be defined in order to make predictions of UV fluxes more reliable.Comment: 3 pages, 5 figure

    A new soft X-ray spectral model for polars with an application to AM Herculis

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    We present a simple heuristic model for the time-averaged soft X-ray temperature distribution in the accretion spot on the white dwarf in polars. The model is based on the analysis of the Chandra LETG spectrum of the prototype polar AM Her and involves an exponential distribution of the emitting area vs. blackbody temperature a(T) = a0 exp(-T/T0). With one free parameter besides the normalization, it is mathematically as simple as the single blackbody, but is physically more plausible and fits the soft X-ray and far-ultraviolet spectral fluxes much better. The model yields more reliable values of the wavelength-integrated flux of the soft X-ray component and the implied accretion rate than reported previously.Comment: 5 pages, 3 figures, accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysic

    The New Eclipsing Cataclysmic Variable SDSS 154453+2553

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    The cataclysmic variable SDSS154453+2553 was recently identified in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. We obtained spectra and photometry at the MDM Observatory, which revealed an eclipse with a 6.03 hour period. The H{\alpha} emission line exhibits a strong rotational disturbance during eclipse, indicating that it arises in an accretion disk. A contribution from an M-type companion is also observed. Time-series photometry during eclipse gives an ephemeris of 2454878.0062(15) + 0.251282(2)E. We present spectroscopy through the orbit and eclipse photometry. Our analysis of the secondary star indicates a distance of 800 {\pm} 180 pc.Comment: 6 pages, 3 figures, Accepted for publication in PAS

    XMM-Newton observation of the long-period polar V1309 Ori: The case for pure blobby accretion

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    Using XMM-Newton we have obtained the first X-ray observation covering a complete orbit of the longest period polar, V1309 Ori. The X-ray light curve is dominated by a short, bright phase interval with EPIC pn count rates reaching up to 15 cts/sec per 30 sec resolution bin. The bright phase emission is well described by a single blackbody component with kT_bb = (45 +- 3) eV. The absence of a bremsstrahlung component at photon energies above 1 keV yields a flux ratio F_bb/F_br > 6700. This represents the most extreme case of a soft X-ray excess yet observed in an AM Herculis star. The bright, soft X-ray emission is subdivided into a series of individual flare events supporting the hypothesis that the soft X-ray excess in V1309 is caused by accretion of dense blobs. In addition to the bright phase emission, a faint, hard X-ray component is visible throughout the binary orbit with an almost constant count rate of 0.01 cts/sec. Spectral modelling indicates that this emission originates from a complex multi-temperature plasma. At least three components of an optically thin plasma with temperatures kT= 0.065, 0.7, and 2.9 keV are required to fit the observed flux distribution. The faint phase emission is occulted during the optical eclipse. Eclipse ingress lasts about 15--20 min and is substantially prolonged beyond nominal ingress of the white dwarf. This and the comparatively low plasma temperature provide strong evidence that the faint-phase emission is not thermal bremsstrahlung from a post-shock accretion column above the white dwarf. A large fraction of the softer faint-phase emission could be explained by scattering of photons from the blackbody component in the infalling material above the accretion region. The remaining hard X-ray flux could be produced in the coupling region, so far unseen in other polars.Comment: 10 pages, 5 figures, A&A publishe

    The quest for companions to post-common envelope binaries IV: The 2:1 mean-motion resonance of the planets orbiting NN Serpentis

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    We present 69 new mid-eclipse times of the young post-common envelope binary (PCEB) NN Ser, which was previously suggested to possess two circumbinary planets. We have interpreted the observed eclipse-time variations in terms of the light-travel time effect caused by two planets, exhaustively covering the multi-dimensional parameter space by fits in the two binary and ten orbital parameters. We supplemented the fits by stability calculations for all models with an acceptable chi-square. An island of secularly stable 2:1 resonant solutions exists, which coincides with the global chi-square minimum. Our best-fit stable solution yields current orbital periods P_o = 15.47 yr and P_i = 7.65 yr and eccentricities e_o = 0.14 and e_i = 0.22 for the outer (o) and inner (i) planets, respectively. The companions qualify as giant planets, with masses of 7.0 M_Jup and 1.7 M_Jup for the case of orbits coplanar with that of the binary. The two-planet model that starts from the present system parameters has a lifetime greater than 10^8 yr, which significantly exceeds the age of NN Ser of 10^6 yr as a PCEB. The resonance is characterized by libration of the resonant variable Theta_1 and circulation of omega_i-omega_o, the difference between the arguments of periapse of the two planets. No stable non-resonant solutions were found, and the possibility of a 5:2 resonance suggested previously by us is now excluded at the 99.3% confidence level.Comment: 8 pages, 8 figure
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