EDP Sciences
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Volume 417, Number 1, April I 2004
Page(s) 283 - 291
Section Stellar structure and evolution
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20031771

A&A 417, 283-291 (2004)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20031771

A spectrophotometric study of RW Trianguli

P. J. Groot1, 2, R. G. M. Rutten3 and J. van Paradijs2, 4

1  Department of Astrophysics, University of Nijmegen, PO Box 9010, 6500 GL, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
2  Astronomical Institute "Anton Pannekoek"/ CHEAF, Kruislaan 403, 1098 SJ, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
3  Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes, Apartado de Correos 321, 38700, Sta Cruz de La Palma, Islas Canarias, Spain
4  Physics Department, UAH, Huntsville, AL 35899, USA

(Received 10 October 1999 / Accepted 23 December 2003 )

On the basis of spectrophotometric observations we reconstruct the accretion disk of the eclipsing novalike cataclysmic variable RW Tri in the wavelength region 3600-7000 Å. We find a radial temperature profile that is, on average, consistent with that expected on the basis of the theory of optically thick, steady state accretion disks and infer a mass-accretion rate in RW Tri of ~ $10^{-8}~M_{\odot}$ yr -1. The line emission is dominated by two areas: one around the hot-spot region and one near the white dwarf. Both emission regions have appreciable vertical extension, and seem to be decoupled from the velocity field in the disk. In our observations RW Tri shows a number of features that are characteristic of the SW Sex sub-class of novalike stars. The appearance of a novalike system as a UX UMa/RW Tri or SW Sex star seems to be mainly governed by the mass-transfer rate from the secondary at the time of observation.

Key words: accretion, accretion disks -- stars: binaries: eclipsing -- stars: individual: RW Tri -- stars: novae, cataclysmic variables

Offprint request: P. J. Groot, pgroot@astro.kun.nl

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