A model for the optical high state light curve of AM Herculis*
Universitäts-Sternwarte Göttingen, Geismarlandstr. 11, 37083 Göttingen, Germany
2 Osservatorio di Capodimonte, Via Moiariello 16, 80131 Napoli, Italy e-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Corresponding author: B. Gänsicke, email@example.com
Accepted: 4 April 2001
We present a simple quantitative model that can describe the photometric B and V band light curves of AM Herculis obtained during a high state. The double-humped shape of the V band light curve is dominated by cyclotron emission from a region at the main accreting pole with an area of ~ and sustaining an inflow of ~0.06 . The almost unmodulated B band is dominated by emission from the accretion stream. The contribution of the heated white dwarf to the optical emission is small in the B band, but comparable to that of the accretion stream in the V band. The emission of the secondary star is negligible both in B and in V.
Key words: accretion / novae, cataclysmic variables / stars: binaries close / stars: individual: AM Her / stars: white dwarfs
© ESO, 2001