AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 39. Stellar Remnants and Cataclysmic Variables
Oral, Monday, January 7, 2002, 2:00-3:30pm, Georgetown East

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[39.03] The surprise outburst of WZ Sge

D. Steeghs (University of Southampton)

WZ Sge is the prototypical evolved cataclysmic variable harbouring a white dwarf that has transformed its nearby companion star from a main sequence star into a low mass dwarf via gigayears of mass transfer. In July 2001, the system went into one of its rare outburst states around 10 years earlier than expected. I present some highlights from the multi-wavelength campaign covering the 2001 outburst event. The vast amount of data secured during this event provides an unprecedented coverage of a dwarf nova outburst. Complex line profile variability is present across all wavebands with remarkable similarity between optical, UV (HST) and X-ray (Chandra) line profiles. Optical spectroscopy in the first few days of the outburst revealed a hot accretion disc dominated by two spiral arms. Doppler tomography of the disc indicates a weakening of the spirals throughout the first weeks of the outburst while at the same time a bright spot signature is increasing in strength. The mass donor also revealed itself for the first time through narrow emission line components, directly constraining WZ Sge's system parameters.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.astro.soton.ac.uk/~ds/wzsge.html. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: ds@astro.soton.ac.uk

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