Is evidence for enhanced mass transfer during dwarf-nova outbursts well substantiated?
Faculty of Education, Nagasaki University, Nagasaki 852-8521, Japan
2 Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, Karl Schwarzschild Str. 1, 85740 Garching, Germany
Corresponding author: Y. Osaki, email@example.com
Accepted: 21 January 2003
Outburst mechanisms of SU UMa-type dwarf novae are discussed. Two competing models were proposed; a pure disk instability model called the thermal-tidal instability model (TTI model) and the enhanced mass transfer model (EMT model). Observational evidence for enhanced mass transfer from the secondary star during outbursts is critically examined. It is demonstrated that most evidence for enhanced mass transfer is not well substantiated. Patterson et al. ([CITE]) have recently claimed to have found evidence for enhanced mass transfer during the 2001 outburst of WZ Sge. We show that their evidence is probably due to a misinterpretation of their observed light curves. Our theoretical analysis also shows that irradiation during outburst should not affect the mass transfer rate. A refinement of the TTI model is proposed that can explain why superhumps appear a few days after the superoutburst maximum in some SU UMa stars. We present our own interpretation of the overall development of the 2001 outburst of WZ Sge based on the TTI model that does not require the assumption of an unproved enhanced mass transfer.
Key words: accretion, accretion disks / binaries: close / novae, cataclysmic variables / stars: dwarf novae / stars: individual: WZ Sge
© ESO, 2003