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Southworth, J.; Marsh, T. R.; Gaensicke, B. T.; Steeghs, D.; Copperwheat, C. M. (2010)
Publisher: EDP Sciences
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: QB

Classified by OpenAIRE into

arxiv: Astrophysics::Galaxy Astrophysics, Astrophysics::Cosmology and Extragalactic Astrophysics, Astrophysics::Solar and Stellar Astrophysics, Astrophysics::Earth and Planetary Astrophysics, Astrophysics::High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena
We present VLT spectroscopy and NTT photometry of the faint cataclysmic binary SDSS J003941.06+005427.5. This object shows triple-peaked Ha emission with all three peaks variable in both strength and velocity. We measure an orbital period of 91.395 +/- 0.093 min from the velocity variations of the wings of the Ha emission line. Using the GALEX and SDSS photometry of this object, we determine a white dwarf temperature of 15 000 K and a very late (greater than or similar to L2) spectral type for the companion star. These measurements, plus the relatively long orbital period, suggest that SDSS J003941.06+005427.5 may be a post-bounce cataclysmic variable. Doppler maps of the Ha and He I 6678 angstrom emission features show an accretion disc with a non-uniform brightness and departures from Keplerian flow. The third emission peak is detected only in Ha and at a relatively low velocity amplitude of 202 +/- 3 kms(-1). We are unable to explain this emission as arising from either the white dwarf, the secondary star, or the accretion disc. We tentatively attribute this mysterious central peak to a coronal loop anchored at the secondary star. If confirmed, this would be the first example of a slingshot prominence in a CV with a low mass-transfer rate and/or a fully convective secondary star.
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