Phase-resolved high-resolution spectrophotometry of the eclipsing polar HU Aquarii.

AD Schwope, K-H Mantel, Keith Douglas Horne

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72 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present phase-resolved spectroscopy of the bright. eclipsing polar HU Aqr obtained with high time (similar to 30 sec) and spectral (1.6 Angstrom) resolution when the system was in a high accretion state. The trailed spectrograms reveal clearly the presence of three different line components with different width and radial velocity variation, By means of Doppler tomography their origin could be located unequivocally (a) on the secondary star, (b) the ballistic part of the accretion stream (horizontal stream), and (c) the magnetically funnelled part of the stream (vertical stream). For the first time we were able to derive a (near-)complete map of the stream in a polar. We propose to use Doppler tomography of AM Herculis stars as a new tool for the mass determination of these binaries. This method, however, still needs to be calibrated by an independent method. The asymmetric light curve of the narrow emission line originating on the mass-donating companion star reveals evidence for significant shielding of 60% of the leading hemisphere by the gas between the two stars.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)894-908
Number of pages15
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume319
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1997

Keywords

  • accretion
  • cataclysmic variables
  • stars: HU Aqr (equals RX 52107.9-0518)
  • binaries: eclipsing
  • M-DWARF STARS
  • AM HERCULIS
  • SECONDARY STAR
  • SYSTEM
  • DISCOVERY
  • PERIOD
  • LINES

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