EDP Sciences
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Volume 435, Number 1, May III 2005
Page(s) 225 - 230
Section Stellar structure and evolution
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20035850

A&A 435, 225-230 (2005)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20035850

High-speed, energy-resolved STJ observations of the AM Her system V2301 Oph

A. P. Reynolds1, G. Ramsay2, J. H. J. de Bruijne1, M. A. C. Perryman1, M. Cropper2, C. M. Bridge2 and A. Peacock1

1  Research and Scientific Support Department of ESA, ESTEC, Postbus 299, 2200 AG Noordwijk, The Netherlands
    e-mail: mperryma@rssd.esa.int
2  Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, Holmbury St Mary, Dorking, Surrey RH5 6NT, UK

(Received 11 December 2003 / Accepted 23 January 2005)

We present high time-resolution optical energy-resolved photometry of the eclipsing cataclysmic variable V2301 Oph made using the ESA S-Cam detector, an array of photon counting super-conducting tunnel junction (STJ) devices with intrinsic energy resolution. Three eclipses were observed, revealing considerable variation in the eclipse shape, particularly during ingress. The eclipse shape is shown to be understood in terms of AM Her accretion via a bright stream, with very little contribution from the white dwarf photosphere and/or hotspot. About two thirds of the eclipsed light arises in the threading region. Variation in the extent of the threading region can account for most of the variations observed between cycles. Spectral fits to the data reveal a 10 000 K blackbody continuum with strong, time-varying emission lines of hydrogen and helium. This is the first time that stellar emission lines have been detected in the optical band using a non-dispersive photon-counting system.

Key words: binaries: eclipsing -- instrumentation: detectors -- stars: individual: V2301 Oph -- white dwarfs

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