XMM-Newton observations of the low-luminosity cataclysmic variable V405 Pegasi⋆
1 Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP), An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
2 Department of Physics and Astronomy, 6127 Wilder Laboratory, Dartmouth College, 03755-3528 Hanover, Germany
Received: 13 September 2013
Accepted: 28 November 2013
Context. V405 Peg is a low-luminosity cataclysmic variable (CV) that was identified as the optical counterpart of the bright, high-latitude ROSAT all-sky survey source RBS1955. The system was suspected to belong to a largely undiscovered population of hibernating CVs. Despite intensive optical follow-up its subclass however remained undetermined.
Aims. We want to further classify V405 Peg and understand its role in the CV zoo via its long-term behaviour, spectral properties, energy distribution and accretion luminosity.
Methods. We perform a spectral and timing analysis of XMM-Newton X-ray and ultra-violet data. Archival WISE, HST, and Swift observations are used to determine the spectral energy distribution and characterize the long-term variability.
Results. The X-ray spectrum is characterized by emission from a multi-temperature plasma. No evidence for a luminous soft X-ray component was found. Orbital phase-dependent X-ray photometric variability by ~50% occurred without significant spectral changes. No further periodicity was significant in our X-ray data. The average X-ray luminosity during the XMM-Newton observations was LX,bol ≃ 5 × 1030 erg s-1 but, based on the Swift observations, the corresponding luminosity varied between 5 × 1029 erg s-1 and 2 × 1031 erg s-1 on timescales of years.
Conclusions. The CV subclass of this object remains elusive. The spectral and timing properties show commonalities with both classes of magnetic and non-magnetic CVs. The accretion luminosity is far below than that expected for a standard accreting CV at the given orbital period. Objects like V405 Peg might represent the tip of an iceberg and thus may be important contributors to the Galactic Ridge X-ray Emission. If so they will be uncovered by future X-ray surveys, e.g. with eROSITA.
Key words: stars: individual: V405 Pegasi / novae, cataclysmic variables / X-rays: binaries / accretion, accretion disks
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