22,456 research outputs found

    Kinematics of the helium accretor GP Com

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    We present time-resolved spectra of the double-degenerate binary star, GP Com. The spectra confirm the presence and period (46.5 min) of the `S'-wave feature found by Nather, Robinson and Stover. GP Com is erratically variable at X-ray and UV wavelengths. We have found the equivalent variability in our data, which, as also seen in UV data, is mostly confined to the emission lines. The HeII 4686 changes by the largest amount, consistent with X-ray driven photo-ionisation. The flaring part of the line profiles is broader than the average, as expected if they are dominated by the inner disc. The HeII 4686 profile is especially remarkable in that its blue-shifted peak is 1400 km/s from line centre compared to 700 km/s for the HeI lines (the red-shifted peak is blended with HeI 4713). We deduce that HeII 4686 emission is confined to the inner 1/4 of the disc. We suggest that the activity of the inner disc indicates that accretion is significant (and unstable) there, in contrast to quiescent dwarf novae, in support of models in which GP Com is in a (quasi-)steady-state of low mass transfer rate. GP Com shows triple-peaked lines profiles which consist of the usual double-peaked profiles from a disc plus a narrow component at line centre. We find evidence for both radial velocity and flux variability in this component, inconsistent with a nebula origin. The radial velocity amplitude and its phase relative to the `S'-wave are consistent with an origin on the accreting white dwarf, if the mass ratio, q = M2/M1, is of order 0.02, as expected on evolutionary grounds. However this explanation is still not satisfactory as the systemic velocity of the narrow component shows significant variation from line to line, and we have no explanation for this.Comment: 9 pages Latex, 9 figures. Accepted for publication in Monthly Notice

    Using HINODE/Extreme-Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer to confirm a seismologically inferred coronal temperature

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    The Extreme-Ultraviolet Imaging Spectrometer on board the HINODE satellite is used to examine the loop system described in Marsh et al. (2009) by applying spectroscopic diagnostic methods. A simple isothermal mapping algorithm is applied to determine where the assumption of isothermal plasma may be valid, and the emission measure locii technique is used to determine the temperature profile along the base of the loop system. It is found that, along the base, the loop has a uniform temperature profile with a mean temperature of 0.89 +- 0.09 MK which is in agreement with the temperature determined seismologically in Marsh et al. (2009), using observations interpreted as the slow magnetoacoustic mode. The results further strengthen the slow mode interpretation, propagation at a uniform sound speed, and the analysis method applied in Marsh et al. (2009). It is found that it is not possible to discriminate between the slow mode phase speed and the sound speed within the precision of the present observations

    Period Changes in Ultra-compact Double White Dwarfs

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    In recent years there has been much interest in the nature of two stars, V407 Vul and RXJ0806+1527, which are widely thought to be binary white dwarfs of very short orbital period, 570 and 321 seconds respectively. As such they should be strong sources of gravitational waves and possible ancestors of the accreting AM CVn stars. Monitoring at X-ray and optical wavelengths has established that the period of each star is decreasing, at rates compatible with that expected from gravitational radiation. This has been taken to support the ``unipolar inductor'' model in which the white dwarfs are detached and the X-rays produced by the dissipation of magnetically-induced electric currents. In this paper we show that this interpretation is incorrect because it ignores associated torques which transfer angular momentum between the spin of the magnetic white dwarf and the orbit. We show that this torque is 10^5 times larger than the GR term in the case of V407 Vul, and 10 times larger for RXJ0806+1527. For V407 Vul, the unipolar inductor model can only survive if the white dwarf spins 100 times faster than the orbit. Since this could only come about through accretion, the validity of the unipolar inductor appears questionable for this star. We also consider whether accretion models can fit the observed spin-up, concluding that they can, provided that a mechanism exists for driving the mass transfer rate away from its equilibrium value.Comment: 6 pages, 1 figure, accepted for publication in MNRA

    On gravity from SST, geoid from Seasat, and plate age and fracture zones in the Pacific

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    A composite map produced by combining 90 passes of SST data show good agreement with conventional GEM models. The SEASAT altimeter data were deduced and found to agree with both the SST and GEM fields. The maps are dominated (especially in the east) by a pattern of roughly east-west anomalies with a transverse wavelength of about 2000 km. Comparison with regional bathymetric data shows a remarkedly close correlation with plate age. Most anomalies in the east half of the Pacific could be partly caused by regional differences in plate age. The amplitude of these geoid or gravity anomalies caused by age differences should decrease with absolute plate age, and large anomalies (approximately 3 m) over old, smooth sea floor may indicate a further deeper source within or perhaps below the lithosphere. The possible plume size and ascent velocity necessary to supply deep mantle material to the upper mantle without complete thermal equilibration was considered. A plume emanating from a buoyant layer 100 km thick and 10,000 times less viscous than the surrounding mantle should have a diameter of about 400 km and must ascend at about 10 cm/yr to arrive still anomalously hot in the uppermost mantle

    Spectral atlas of dwarf novae in outburst

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    Up to now, only a very small number of dwarf novae have been studied during their outburst state (~30 per cent in the Northern hemisphere). In this paper we present the first comprehensive atlas of outburst spectra of dwarf novae. We study possible correlations between the emission and absorption lines seen in the spectra and some fundamental parameters of the binaries. We find that out of the 48 spectra presented, 12 systems apart from IP Peg show strong HeII in emission: SS Aur, HL CMa, TU Crt, EM Cyg, SS Cyg, EX Dra, U Gem, HX Peg, GK Per, KT Per, V893 Sco, IY UMa, and 7 others less prominently: FO And, V542 Cyg, BI Ori, TY Psc, VZ Pyx, ER UMa, and SS UMi. We conclude that these systems are good targets for finding spiral structure in their accretion discs during outburst if models of Smak (2001) and Ogilvie (2001) are correct. This is confirmed by the fact that hints of spiral asymmetries have already been found in the discs of SS Cyg, EX Dra and U Gem.Comment: 16 pages, 14 figures. To be published in MNRA

    GaAs transistors formed by Be or Mg ion implantation

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    N-p-n transistor structures have been formed in GaAs by implanting n-type substrates with Be ions to form base regions and then implanting them with 20-keV Si ions to form emitters. P-type layers have been produced in GaAs by implantation of either Mg or Be ions, with substrate at room temperature, followed by annealing at higher temperatures
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