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Evidence for mass accretion driven by spiral shocks onto the white dwarf in SDSS J123813.73-033933.0

Evidence for mass accretion driven by spiral shocks onto the white dwarf in SDSS J123813.73-033933.0
Evidence for mass accretion driven by spiral shocks onto the white dwarf in SDSS J123813.73-033933.0
We present high-time-resolution photometry and phase-resolved spectroscopy of the short-period (⁠Porb=80.52min⁠) cataclysmic variable SDSS J123813.73–033933.0, observed with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), the Kepler/K2 mission, and the Very Large Telescope (VLT). We also report observations of the first detected superoutburst. SDSS J1238–0339 shows two types of variability: quasi-regular brightenings recurring every ≃8.5  h during which the system increases in brightness by ≃0.5mag, and a double-hump quasi-sinusoidal modulation at the orbital period. The detailed K2 light curve reveals that the amplitude of the double-humps increases during the brightenings and that their phase undergoes a ≃90° phase shift with respect to the quiescent intervals. The HST  data unambiguously demonstrate that these phenomena both arise from the heating and cooling of two relatively large regions on the white dwarf. We suggest that the double-hump modulation is related to spiral shocks in the accretion disc resulting in an enhanced accretion rate heating two localized regions on the white dwarf, with the structure of the shocks fixed in the binary frame explaining the period of the double humps. The physical origin of the 8.5  h brightenings is less clear. However, the correlation between the observed variations of the amplitude and phase of the double-humps with the occurrence of the brightenings is supportive of an origin in thermal instabilities in the accretion disc.
astro-ph.SR
0035-8711
1080-1103
Pala, A. F.
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Gänsicke, B. T.
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Marsh, T. R.
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Breedt, E.
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Hermes, J. J.
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Landstreet, J. D.
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Schreiber, M. R.
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Townsley, D. M.
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Wang, L.
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Aungwerojwit, A.
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Hambsch, F. -J.
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Monard, B.
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Myers, G.
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Nelson, P.
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Pickard, R.
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Poyner, G.
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Reichart, D. E.
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Godon, P.
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Szkody, P.
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Martino, D. De
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Dhillon, V. S.
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Knigge, C.
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Parsons, S. G.
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Pala, A. F.
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Gänsicke, B. T.
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Marsh, T. R.
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Breedt, E.
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Hermes, J. J.
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Landstreet, J. D.
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Schreiber, M. R.
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Townsley, D. M.
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Wang, L.
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Aungwerojwit, A.
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Hambsch, F. -J.
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Monard, B.
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Myers, G.
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Nelson, P.
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Pickard, R.
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Poyner, G.
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Reichart, D. E.
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Stubbings, R.
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Godon, P.
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Szkody, P.
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Martino, D. De
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Dhillon, V. S.
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Knigge, C.
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Parsons, S. G.
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Pala, A. F., Gänsicke, B. T., Marsh, T. R., Breedt, E., Hermes, J. J., Landstreet, J. D., Schreiber, M. R., Townsley, D. M., Wang, L., Aungwerojwit, A., Hambsch, F. -J., Monard, B., Myers, G., Nelson, P., Pickard, R., Poyner, G., Reichart, D. E., Stubbings, R., Godon, P., Szkody, P., Martino, D. De, Dhillon, V. S., Knigge, C. and Parsons, S. G. (2019) Evidence for mass accretion driven by spiral shocks onto the white dwarf in SDSS J123813.73-033933.0. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 483 (1), 1080-1103. (doi:10.1093/mnras/sty3174).

Record type: Article

Abstract

We present high-time-resolution photometry and phase-resolved spectroscopy of the short-period (⁠Porb=80.52min⁠) cataclysmic variable SDSS J123813.73–033933.0, observed with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), the Kepler/K2 mission, and the Very Large Telescope (VLT). We also report observations of the first detected superoutburst. SDSS J1238–0339 shows two types of variability: quasi-regular brightenings recurring every ≃8.5  h during which the system increases in brightness by ≃0.5mag, and a double-hump quasi-sinusoidal modulation at the orbital period. The detailed K2 light curve reveals that the amplitude of the double-humps increases during the brightenings and that their phase undergoes a ≃90° phase shift with respect to the quiescent intervals. The HST  data unambiguously demonstrate that these phenomena both arise from the heating and cooling of two relatively large regions on the white dwarf. We suggest that the double-hump modulation is related to spiral shocks in the accretion disc resulting in an enhanced accretion rate heating two localized regions on the white dwarf, with the structure of the shocks fixed in the binary frame explaining the period of the double humps. The physical origin of the 8.5  h brightenings is less clear. However, the correlation between the observed variations of the amplitude and phase of the double-humps with the occurrence of the brightenings is supportive of an origin in thermal instabilities in the accretion disc.

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1811.05981v1 - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 14 November 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 23 November 2018
Published date: February 2019
Additional Information: 26 pages, 22 figures. Accepted for publication in MNRAS
Keywords: astro-ph.SR

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 426421
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/426421
ISSN: 0035-8711
PURE UUID: ebf419af-7296-4175-8300-d1f835ef1e77

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Date deposited: 27 Nov 2018 17:30
Last modified: 25 Nov 2021 20:20

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Contributors

Author: A. F. Pala
Author: B. T. Gänsicke
Author: T. R. Marsh
Author: E. Breedt
Author: J. J. Hermes
Author: J. D. Landstreet
Author: M. R. Schreiber
Author: D. M. Townsley
Author: L. Wang
Author: A. Aungwerojwit
Author: F. -J. Hambsch
Author: B. Monard
Author: G. Myers
Author: P. Nelson
Author: R. Pickard
Author: G. Poyner
Author: D. E. Reichart
Author: R. Stubbings
Author: P. Godon
Author: P. Szkody
Author: D. De Martino
Author: V. S. Dhillon
Author: C. Knigge
Author: S. G. Parsons

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