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Title: Nova-like cataclysmic variables in the infrared

Nova-like (NL) cataclysmic variables have persistently high mass transfer rates and prominent steady state accretion disks. We present an analysis of infrared observations of 12 NLs obtained from the Two Micron All Sky Survey, the Spitzer Space Telescope, and the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer All Sky Survey. The presence of an infrared excess at λ ≳ 3-5 μm over the expectation of a theoretical steady state accretion disk is ubiquitous in our sample. The strength of the infrared excess is not correlated with orbital period, but shows a statistically significant correlation (but shallow trend) with system inclination that might be partially (but not completely) linked to the increasing view of the cooler outer accretion disk and disk rim at higher inclinations. We discuss the possible origin of the infrared excess in terms of emission from bremsstrahlung or circumbinary dust, with either mechanism facilitated by the mass outflows (e.g., disk wind/corona, accretion stream overflow, and so on) present in NLs. Our comparison of the relative advantages and disadvantages of either mechanism for explaining the observations suggests that the situation is rather ambiguous, largely circumstantial, and in need of stricter observational constraints.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7] ;  [8] ;  [9] ;  [10] ;  [11] ;  [12] ;  [13] ;  [14]
  1. Eureka Scientific, Inc., Oakland, CA (United States)
  2. Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD (United States)
  3. NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA (United States)
  4. Max Planck Institut für Astronomie, D-69117 Heidelberg (Germany)
  5. Spitzer Science Center, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA (United States)
  6. Physics and Astronomy, University of Southampton, Southampton (United Kingdom)
  7. Centre for Astrophysics Research, Science and Technology Research Institute, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield (United Kingdom)
  8. Department of Astronomy, University of Washington, Seattle, WA (United States)
  9. Carnegie Institution of Washington, Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Washington, DC (United States)
  10. Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM (United States)
  11. NASA Exoplanet Science Institute, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA (United States)
  12. Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy, Department of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States)
  13. Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ (United States)
  14. Department of Physics, University of Oxford, Oxford (United Kingdom)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22357001
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 786; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ACCRETION DISKS; BREMSSTRAHLUNG; CORRELATIONS; DUSTS; EMISSION; ERUPTIVE VARIABLE STARS; HEAT EXCHANGERS; INCLINATION; INFRARED SURVEYS; LIMITING VALUES; MASS SPECTROSCOPY; MASS TRANSFER; NOVAE; SKY; SPACE; STEADY-STATE CONDITIONS; STREAMS; TELESCOPES