Volume 392, Number 2, September III 2002
|541 - 551
|Interstellar and circumstellar matter
|30 August 2002
A multiwavelength timing analysis of the eclipsing polar DP Leo
Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
2 Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Giessenbachstrasse, 85748 Garching, Germany
3 Deptartment of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southampton, Hampshire, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK
Corresponding author: A. D. Schwope, email@example.com
Accepted: 17 June 2002
We present an analysis of the X-ray light curves of the magnetic cataclysmic variable DP Leo using recently performed XMM-Newton EPIC and archival published and unpublished ROSAT PSPC observations. We combine the timings of the X-ray eclipses with timings derived from archival HST-observations and new optical observations with the photon counting OPTIMA camera. We determine the eclipse length at X-ray wavelengths to be s, slightly longer than at ultra-violet wavelengths, where it lasts 225 s. A new orbital ephemeris is derived which connects the more than 120 000 binary cycles covered since 1979. It has a highly significant quadratic term, implying an orbital period change of s s-1, two orders of magnitude larger than being compatible with braking by gravitational radiation only. Over the last twenty years, the optical and X-ray bright phases display a continuous shift with respect to the eclipse center by ~ yr-1. Over the last 8.5 years the shift of the X-ray bright phase is ~ yr-1. We interpret this as evidence of an asynchronously rotating white dwarf although synchronization oscillations cannot be ruled out completely. If the observed phase shift continues, a fundamental rearrangement of the accretion geometry must occur on a time-scale of some ten years. Applying model atmosphere spectra to optical/UV eclipse light curves, we determine the temperature and mass of the white dwarf, the temperature and size of the optical/UV emitting spot and the distance to DP Leo to be K, , K, , and pc, respectively. The implied inclination and mass ratio are and . DP Leo is marginally detected at eclipse phase in X-rays. The upper limit eclipse flux is consistent with an origin on the late-type secondary, (0.20-7.55 keV), at a distance of 400 pc.
Key words: stars: binaries: eclipsing / stars: novae, cataclysmic variables / stars:individual: DP Leo / X-rays: stars
© ESO, 2002
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