UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

XMM Spectroscopy of the Transient Supersoft Source RX J0513.9-6951: probing the dynamic white dwarf photosphere

MCGOWAN, K; Charles, PA; BLUSTIN, AJ; Livio, M; O'Donoghue, D; Heathcote, B; (2005) XMM Spectroscopy of the Transient Supersoft Source RX J0513.9-6951: probing the dynamic white dwarf photosphere. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society , 364 (2) 462 - 474. 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2005.09566.x. Green open access

[thumbnail of 183043.pdf]
Preview
PDF
183043.pdf

Download (421kB)

Abstract

The highly luminous (>1037 erg s−1) supersoft X-ray sources (SSSs) are believed to be Eddington-limited accreting white dwarfs undergoing surface hydrogen burning. The current paradigm for SSSs involves thermally unstable mass transfer from a 1–2 M⊙ companion. However, this model has never been directly confirmed and yet is crucial for the evolution of cataclysmic variables (CVs) in general, and for the establishment of SSSs as progenitors of Type Ia supernovae in particular. The key SSS is RX J0513.9 — 6951 which has recurrent X-ray outbursts every 100–200 d (lasting for ~40 d) during which the optical brightness declines by 1 mag. We present the first XMM observations of RX J0513.9 — 6951 through one of its optical low states. Our results show that as the optical low state progresses, the temperature and X-ray luminosity decrease, behaviour that is anti-correlated with the optical and ultraviolet (UV) emission. We find that as the optical (and UV) intensity recovers, the radius implied by the spectral fits increases. The high-resolution spectra show evidence of deep-absorption features which vary during the optical low state. Our results are consistent with the predictions of the white dwarf photospheric contraction model proposed by Southwell et al.

Type: Article
Title: XMM Spectroscopy of the Transient Supersoft Source RX J0513.9-6951: probing the dynamic white dwarf photosphere
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2005.09566.x
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2005.09566.x
Language: English
Additional information: © 2005 RAS Definitive versions of articles pre-2013 are available at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1365-2966, now published by http://mnras.oxfordjournals.org
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/183043
Downloads since deposit
126Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item