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Accretion and Outflow in Interacting Binary Systems: FUSE Observations of the Novalike Cataclysmic Variable, UX Ursae Majoris

  • Froning, C. S.
  • Long, K. S.
  • Knigge, C.
Published Article
Publication Date
Oct 17, 2002
Submission Date
Oct 17, 2002
DOI: 10.1086/345617
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We present far-ultraviolet (905 -- 1182 A), time-series spectroscopy of the eclipsing, novalike cataclysmic variable, UX UMa, acquired with FUSE. The time-averaged spectrum is complex and is dominated by overlapping spectral features. The most prominent features are emission lines of CIII, NIII}, NIV, and OVI. They are broad (FWHM >= 1800 km/s) and double-peaked with a central absorption at zero velocity. During eclipse, the spectrum is simpler: the emission lines remain bright, but the absorption components of the lines and the weaker features between the emission lines disappear entirely, leaving a flat continuum. This behavior is also evident in GHRS (1149 -- 1660 A) spectra that we retrieved from the HST archive. The FUV spectra show flickering on time scales of several minutes. The flickering is seen primarily in the continuum and/or the weaker lines rather than in the prominent emission lines. The orbital light curve has a dip in the FUV flux between orbital phases 0.45 -- 0.65, similar to a pre-eclipse dip detected in HST observations. The EWs of the line absorption features decrease during the dip. We have detected a systematic wavelength shift of spectral features on the orbital period, but with a phase lag of ~ 20 degrees, a phenomenon that has been reported at optical wavelengths. We discuss the implications of our results in the context of models of an accretion disk with a chromosphere between the disk and the extended wind. Finally, we note that the observed FUV flux is too low to be consistent with the temperature and radius of the WD derived by Baptista et al. (1995), suggesting that their remaining binary parameters, including a mass ratio of 1, ought to be viewed with skepticism.

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