A Most Unusual, Highly X-ray-Variable Cataclysmic Variable

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Session 45 -- CVs/Symbiotic Stars
Display presentation, Wednesday, 1, 1994, 9:20-6:30

[45.05] A Most Unusual, Highly X-ray-Variable Cataclysmic Variable

F.M. Walter, S.J. Wolk, N. Adams, S. Zoonematkermani (SUNY Stony Brook)

We have identified the serendipidous X-ray source RXJ051540+0104 with a previously-unknown cataclysmic variable. The soft X-ray light curve is similar to that of the single-poled polar VV~Pup, except that the X-ray data suggest a period of $\approx$8~hours. When faint, the soft X-ray emission is fairly steady; when bright the emission breaks up into discrete soft X-ray bursts. The X-ray spectrum at all times is well fit by a 47$\pm$4~eV blackbody. The optical spectrum is that of an accretion column. The He~II/H~$\beta$ ratio suggests an AM~Her-like object. We have evidence for optical variability, and perhaps of optical eclipses.

The X-ray light curve and the long orbital period appear unique in the annals of CVs. We will present the data and discuss possible models for this system. These data may provide confirmation for accreting blob models of polars.

Wednesday program listing