The spectroscopic evolution of the symbiotic star AG Draconis
I. The O VI Raman, Balmer, and helium emission line variations during the outburst of 2006-2008
S. N. Shore1,2, G. M. Wahlgren3,4, K. Genovali1, S. Bernabei5, P. Koubsky6, M. Šlechta6, P. Škoda6, A. Skopal7 and M. Wolf8
Dipartimento di Fisica “Enrico Fermi”, Università di Pisa, largo B. Pontecorvo 3, 56127 Pisa, Italy e-mail: email@example.com
2 INFN - Sezione di Pisa, Italy
3 Catholic University of America, Dept. of Physics, 620 Michigan Ave NE, Washington DC, 20064, USA
4 NASA-GSFC, Code 667, Greenbelt, MD, 20771, USA
5 INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, via Ranzani 1, 40127 Bologna, Italy
6 Astronomical Institute, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Ondřejov, Czech Republic
7 Astronomical Institute, Slovak Academy of Sciences, 059 60 Tatranskńa Lomnica, Slovakia
8 Astronomical Institute, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University Prague, 180 00 Praha 8, V Holešovičkách 2, Czech Republic
Accepted: 23 November 2009
Context. AG Dra is one of a small group of low metallicity S-type symbiotic binaries with K-type giants that undergoes occasional short-term outbursts of unknown origin.
Aims. Our aim is to study the behavior of the white dwarf during an outburst using the optical Raman lines and other emission features in the red giant wind. The goal is to determine changes in the envelope and the wind of the gainer in this system during a major outburst event and to study the coupling between the UV and optical during a major outburst.
Methods. Using medium and high resolution groundbased optical spectra and comparisons with archival FUSE and HST/STIS spectra, we study the evolution of the Raman O VI features and the Balmer, He I, and He II lines during the outburst from 2006 Sep. through 2007 May and include more recent observations (2009) to study the subsequent evolution of the source.
Results. The O VI Raman features disappeared completely at the peak of the major outburst and the subsequent variation differs substantially from that reported during the previous decade. The He I and He II lines, and the Balmer lines, vary in phase with the Raman features but there is a double-valuedness to the He I 6678, 7065 relative to the O VI Raman 6825 Å variations in the period between 2006-2008 that has not been previously reported.
Conclusions. The variations in the Raman feature ratio through the outburst interval are consistent with the disappearance of the O VI FUV resonance wind lines from the white dwarf and of the surrounding O+5 ionized region within the red giant wind provoked by the expansion and cooling of the white dwarf photosphere.
Key words: stars: individual: AG Draconis / binaries: symbiotic / radiation mechanisms: general / atomic processes
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