High Speed Keck Spectroscopy of Flares and Oscillations in AE Aquarii

W Skidmore, K O'Brien, Keith Douglas Horne, R Gomer, JB Oke, KJ Pearson

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17 Citations (Scopus)


Using high-time-resolution (72 ms) spectroscopy of AE Aqr obtained with LRIS on Keck II we have determined the spectrum and spectral evolution of a small flare. Continuum and integrated line fluxes in the flare spectrum are measured, and the evolution of the flare is parametrized for future comparison with detailed models of the flares. We find that the velocities of the flaring components are consistent with those previously reported for AE Aqr by Welsh, Horne & Gomer and Horne. The characteristics of the 33-s oscillations are investigated: we derive the oscillation amplitude spectrum, and from that determine the spectrum of the heated regions on the rotating white dwarf. Blackbody fits to the major and minor pulse spectra and an analysis of the emission-line oscillation properties highlight the shortfalls in the simple hotspot model for the oscillations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1057-1066
Number of pages10
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2003


  • magnetic fields
  • stars : flare
  • stars : individual : AE Aqr
  • novae, cataclysmic variables
  • stars : winds, outflows
  • STAR
  • AQR


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