Volume 421, Number 3, July III 2004
|Page(s)||1131 - 1142|
|Section||Stellar structure and evolution|
|Published online||29 June 2004|
On the mass transfer in AE Aquarii
Korea Astronomy Observatory, 61-1 Whaam-dong, Yusong-gu, Taejon 305-348, Republic of Korea
2 Central Astronomical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Pulkovo 65/1, 196140 St. Petersburg, Russia
3 Isaac Newton Institute of Chile, St. Petersburg Branch, Russia
4 Computational Astrophysics Laboratory, National University of Ireland, Galway, Newcastle Rd., Galway, Ireland
5 Isaac Newton Institute of Chile, Kazan Branch, Russia
Corresponding author: N. R. Ikhsanov, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 30 March 2004
The observed properties of the close binary AE Aqr indicate that the mass transfer in this system operates via the Roche lobe overflow mechanism, but the material transferred from the normal companion is neither accreted onto the surface of the white dwarf nor stored in a disk around its magnetosphere. As previously shown, such a situation can be realized if the white dwarf operates as a propeller. At the same time, the efficiency of the propeller action by the white dwarf is insufficient to explain the rapid braking of the white dwarf, which implies that the spin-down power is in excess of the bolometric luminosity of the system. To avoid this problem we have simulated the mass-transfer process in AE Aqr assuming that the observed braking of the white dwarf is governed by a pulsar-like spin-down mechanism. We show that the expected Hα Doppler tomogram in this case resembles the tomogram observed from the system. We find that the agreement between the simulated and the observed tomograms is rather good provided the mean value of the mass-transfer rate ~ 5 . Three spatially separated sources of Hα emission can be distinguished within this approach. The structure of the tomogram depends on the relative contributions of these sources to the Hα emission and is expected to vary from night to night.
Key words: stars: novae, cataclysmic variables / magnetic fields / stars: pulsars: general / stars: white dwarfs / X-rays: binaries / stars: individual: AE Aqr
© ESO, 2004
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