Evidence for an oscillation of the magnetic axis of the white dwarf in the polar DP Leonis
1 Institut für Astrophysik, Georg-August-Universität, Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
2 Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP), An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
Received: 4 December 2013
Accepted: 31 December 2013
From 1979 to 2001, the magnetic axis of the white dwarf in the polar DP Leo slowly rotated by 50° in azimuth, possibly indicating a small asynchronism between the rotational and orbital periods of the magnetic white dwarf. Using the MONET/North telescope, we have obtained phase-resolved orbital light curves between 2009 and 2013, which show that this trend has not continued in recent years. Our data are consistent with the theoretically predicted oscillation of the magnetic axis of the white dwarf about an equilibrium orientation, which is defined by the competition between the accretion torque and the magnetostatic interaction of the primary and secondary star. Our data indicate an oscillation period of ~60 yr, an amplitude of about 25°, and an equilibrium orientation leading the connecting line of the two stars by about 7°.
Key words: binaries: close / binaries: eclipsing / white dwarfs / novae, cataclysmic variables / stars: individual: DP Leonis
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