7-11 July 2014
Africa/Johannesburg timezone
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Rapid Photometric variability of magnetic Cataclysmic Variables

Presented by Mr. Johannes BREYTENBACH on 10 Jul 2014 from 14:40 to 15:00
Type: Oral Presentation
Session: Space
Track: Track D1 - Astrophysics


Magnetic Cataclysmic Variables (mCVs) are semi-detached binary star systems consisting of a degenerate White Dwarf (WD) primary and a lower Main Sequence donor star. Material in these objects accretes from the donor star through a truncated disc where it eventually becomes channelled in the innermost regions by the strong (mega Gauss) magnetic field. As such, mCVs, and the extreme physical conditions they command, offer a unique probe into the properties of magnetically confined, supersonic plasma flows. The rapid photometric variability observed in these objects is thought to originate within the accretion column as the shock front - formed by material impacting on the WD surface - oscillates radially. By studying such Quasi-Periodic Oscillations (QPOs) - their relative stability, orbital phase- and system state dependencies - one may gain insight into the geometry of the accretion flow and magnetic field of the host star. This work represents the systematic study of the optical variability of a large number of southern hemisphere Polars with the goal of better understanding how magnetism affects accretion.






David Buckley, dibnob@saao.ac.za, SAAO / SALT



Primary authors