EDP Sciences
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Volume 365, Number 3, January III 2001
Page(s) 508 - 513
Section Formation, structure and evolution of stars
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20000150

A&A 365, 508-513 (2001)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20000150

The detection of a 1.4-h period in RW Ursa Minoris -candidate for shortest recorded orbital period nova

A. Retter1 and Y. Lipkin2

1  Dept. of Physics, Keele University, Keele, Staffordshire ST5 5BG, UK
2  School of Physics and Astronomy and the Wise Observatory, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences, Tel-Aviv University, Tel Aviv 69978, Israel

(Received 9 August 2000 / Accepted 19 October 2000)

CCD photometry of the classical nova RW UMi during 10 nights in 1995 through an R filter and 14 nights in 1997 through a "clear"filter, with the 1-m Wise telescope yields a periodic modulation in the light curve with the period $0.05912 \pm 0.00015$ d and a semi amplitude of 0.025 mag. We discuss several explanations for the periodicity, and suggest that it is likely to be the orbital period of the binary system or a superhump period. RW UMi is thus a candidate for the classical nova with the shortest known orbital period.

Key words: individual: RW UMi -- novae, cataclysmic variables -- binaries: close -- accretion, accretion discs -- white dwarfs

Offprint request: A. Retter, ar@astro.keele.ac.uk

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