Publications (3)9.51 Total impact
- SourceAvailable from: Gerard Theodore Van Belle[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: We present Spitzer Space Telescope photometry of six short-period polars, EF Eri, V347 Pav, VV Pup, V834 Cen, GG Leo, and MR Ser. We have combined the Spitzer Infrared Array Camera (3.6 -8.0 microns) data with the 2MASS J, H, K_s photometry to construct the spectral energy distributions of these systems from the near- to mid-IR (1.235 - 8 microns). We find that five out of the six polars have flux densities in the mid-IR that are substantially in excess of the values expected from the stellar components alone. We have modeled the observed SEDs with a combination of contributions from the white dwarf, secondary star, and either cyclotron emission or a cool, circumbinary dust disk to fill in the long-wavelength excess. We find that a circumbinary dust disk is the most likely cause of the 8 micron excess in all cases, but we have been unable to rule out the specific (but unlikely) case of completely optically thin cyclotron emission as the source of the observed 8 micron flux density. While both model components can generate enough flux at 8 microns, neither dust nor cyclotron emission alone can match the excess above the stellar components at all wavelengths. A model combining both cyclotron and dust contributions, possibly with some accretion-generated flux in the near-IR, is probably required, but our observed SEDs are not sufficiently well-sampled to constrain such a complicated model. If the 8 micron flux density is caused by the presence of a circumbinary dust disk, then our estimates of the masses of these disks are many orders of magnitude below the mass required to affect CV evolution.The Astrophysical Journal 01/2007; 659(2). DOI:10.1086/512797 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Our understanding of the formation and evolution of magnetic cataclysmic variables from initially detached, post-common-envelope binary stars containing a magnetic white dwarf and a main-sequence star is currently poorly constrained, due to the lack of observational identification of the progenitor systems. Very few potential pre-cataclysmic variables containing a magnetic white dwarf are known, compared with ~25% of the cataclysmic variable population that contain magnetic white dwarfs. We present the results of a search for candidate binary systems containing a magnetic white dwarf, which utilized photometric data from the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS; as well as Hubble Space Telescope and WIYN Observatory follow-up data for several objects). Our target sample was drawn primarily from the comprehensive list of magnetic white dwarfs by Wickramasinghe & Ferrario, plus several recently identified objects selected from the literature. Out of 51 2MASS detections, no convincing binary candidates were found. However, six objects merit additional observation to determine the origin of a small near-infrared excess that could be attributed to a very low mass stellar or substellar companion. An additional four white dwarfs are possibly at the centers of previously unknown, and likely unresolved, planetary nebulae.Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 11/2005; 117:1378-1385. DOI:10.1086/497084 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We present Spitzer Space Telescope IRAC photometry of the magnetic cataclysmic variables EF Eri, MR Ser, VV Pup, V834 Cen, GG Leo and V347 Pav. When we combine our results with the 2MASS data, we find that at least five of the polars have flux densities in the mid-IR in excess of the emission expected from the stellar components alone. We are unable to model this mid-IR excess with cyclotron emission, but we can recreate the observed spectral energy distributions with the inclusion of a simple circumbinary dust disk model. Importantly, we find that the masses of our modelled disks are approximately 12 orders of magnitude lower than required to significantly affect CV evolution. The accretion disk-less polars are ideal places to search for these disks, since the luminous accretion disk in most CVs would drown out the faint IR signature of the cooler, dimmer circumbinary disks.