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Multiwavelength Superoutburst Observations of T Leonis

Steve B. Howell ; David R. Ciardi ; Paula Szkody ; Jan van Paradijs ; Erik Kuulkers ; Jennifer Cash ; Martin Sirk ; Knox S. Long

Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 1999-03, Vol.111 (757), p.342-355 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    Multiwavelength Superoutburst Observations of T Leonis
  • Author: Steve B. Howell ; David R. Ciardi ; Paula Szkody ; Jan van Paradijs ; Erik Kuulkers ; Jennifer Cash ; Martin Sirk ; Knox S. Long
  • Description: We present results of simultaneous superoutburst observations in the X‐ray, EUV, optical, and IR bands of the tremendous outburst amplitude dwarf novae T Leonis. Near peak luminosity, a single blackbody represents a good fit to T Leo's observed continuum in the EUV spectral region, yielding a boundary layer temperature of 71,000–97,000 K. Inclusion of the longer wavelength observations, UV to the IR, indicates that a blackbody fit is inappropriate. A single‐temperature fit to only the UV and redward data for T Leo works well but yields a much lower temperature, near 28,000 K. Using our own observations and previously obtained EUV, UV, and optical (super)outburst observations for the dwarf novae U Gem and SS Cyg, the SU UMa star VW Hyi, and the TOADs, TV Crv, BC UMa, and SW UMa, we find that in all cases, high‐energy observations yield high‐temperature, small emitting regions, while fits to UV and redward data produce cooler temperatures from much larger emitting regions. These results are consistent with the idea that high‐energy data provide a direct measurement of the boundary layer, while the lower energy data measure a much larger, multitemperature region, likely to be dominated by the outburst heated inner accretion disk. High‐energy outburst observations show that the boundary layer temperature decreases with decreasing orbital period, and UV outburst observations provide evidence for a missing or weak inner disk in the TOADs. We present a simple model of mass accretion onto the white dwarf during (super)outburst, which can account for the observed correlation between orbital period and boundary layer temperature.
  • Is Part Of: Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 1999-03, Vol.111 (757), p.342-355
  • Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
  • Identifier: ISSN: 0004-6280
    EISSN: 1538-3873
    DOI: 10.1086/316340
  • Subjects: Wavelengths ; Optical bursts ; Light curves ; Luminosity ; Infrared radiation ; Brightness temperature ; Dwarf novae ; Extreme ultraviolet radiation ; Accretion disks ; Boundary layers
  • Language: English

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