Visible and Infrared Studies of Cataclysmic Variable Stars.

1983 • 1983PhDT.........5B

Authors • Berriman, G.

Abstract • This Thesis investigates the infrared properties of Cataclysmic Variable Stars. The visible and infrared (1-2(mu)m) light of fourteen uneclipsing systems is shown to come largely from the red dwarfs and the opaque gas in the accretion disc, with more light coming from the red dwarfs in the longer period systems than in the shorter period ones. In highly inclined systems, the amplitudes of the ellipsoidal variations of the red dwarfs provide a more precise measure of the proportion of light supplied by the red dwarf than do the colours alone. A technique to simulate the light curves of tidally distorted red dwarfs successfully accounts for the infrared light curves of U Geminorum, a system in which the red dwarf supplied nearly all the infrared light. Completing the Thesis is a study of the eclipsing dwarf nova OY Carinae in quiescence. An analysis of the visible eclipses of the white dwarf by the red dwarf shows that the inclination of the system is 73.5(DEGREES) to 81(DEGREES), the mass of the white dwarf is 0.4-1.4 M(,(CIRCLE)), and the red dwarf lies either on or slightly below the Main Sequence mass-radius relation. At J, H and K, the red dwarf supplies one-half of the uneclipsed infrared light, and it eclipses more than three-fifths of the light of the disc. The K magnitude of the red dwarf is 14.2 -14.7, and the system is 100 to 300pc distant. The infrared light of the disc of OY Carinae comes largely from optically thin emission.


IPAC Authors


Bruce Berriman

Senior Scientist