September 1983 • 1983MNRAS.204.1105B
Abstract • One series of data comprising the present J, H, K broadband IR photometry of the cataclysmic binary system U Geminorum over the course of two orbital cycles was obtained several days before an outburst, while a second was gathered when the system had almost completely returned to quiescence from that outburst. In quiescence, the M4-M5.5 red dwarf star supplies most of the IR luminosity of the system, while the light curves at this time are tidally induced ellipsoidal variations of the red dwarf which exhibit an amplitude such that the red dwarf must fill, or nearly fill, its Roche lobe. This shows directly that Roche lobe overflow is important in cataclysmic variable stars. The range of the disk IR colors after outbursts suggest that cool and optically thick gas, together with optically thin gas, supply most of the IR light of the disk.