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Valtonen M.J.,University of Turku | Zola S.,Jagiellonian University | Zola S.,Pedagogical University of Cracow | Ciprini S.,Agenzia Spaziale Italiana Science Data Center | And 88 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal Letters | Year: 2016

OJ 287 is a quasi-periodic quasar with roughly 12 year optical cycles. It displays prominent outbursts that are predictable in a binary black hole model. The model predicted a major optical outburst in 2015 December. We found that the outburst did occur within the expected time range, peaking on 2015 December 5 at magnitude 12.9 in the optical R-band. Based on Swift/XRT satellite measurements and optical polarization data, we find that it included a major thermal component. Its timing provides an accurate estimate for the spin of the primary black hole, . The present outburst also confirms the established general relativistic properties of the system such as the loss of orbital energy to gravitational radiation at the 2% accuracy level, and it opens up the possibility of testing the black hole no-hair theorem with 10% accuracy during the present decade. © 2016. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. Source


Kato T.,Kyoto University | Hambsch F.-J.,Groupe Europeen dObservations Stellaires GEOS | Maehara H.,University of Tokyo | Maehara H.,Kyoto University | And 87 more authors.
Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan | Year: 2014

Continuing the project described in Kato et al. (2009, PASJ, 61, S395), we collected times of superhump maxima for SU UMa-type dwarf novae mainly observed during the 2012-2013 season. We found three objects (V444 Peg, CSS J203937, and MASTER J212624) having strongly positive period derivatives despite the long orbital period (Porb). By using the period of growing stage (stage A) superhumps, we obtained mass ratios for six objects. We characterized nine new WZ Sge-type dwarf novae. We made a pilot survey of the decline rate in the slowly fading parts of SU UMa-type and WZ Sge-type outbursts. The decline time scale was found to generally follow an expected Porb 1/4 dependence, and WZ Sge-type outbursts also generally follow this trend. There are some objects which show slower decline rates, and we consider these objects good candidates for period bouncers. We also studied unusual behavior in some objects, including BK Lyn which made a transition from an ER UMa-type state to a novalike (standstill) state in 2013, and unusually frequent occurrences of superoutbursts in NY Ser and CR Boo. We applied the least absolute shrinkage and selection operator (Lasso) power spectral analysis, which has been proven to be very effective in analyzing the Kepler data, to the ground-based photometry of BK Lyn, and detected a dramatic disappearance of the signal of negative superhumps in 2013. We suggested that the mass-transfer rates did not strongly vary between the ER UMa-type state and novalike state in BK Lyn, and this transition was less likely caused by a systematic variation of the mass-transfer rate. © 2014 The Author. Source


Kato T.,Kyoto University | Dubovsky P.A.,Vihorlat Observatory | Kudzej I.,Vihorlat Observatory | Hambsch F.-J.,Groupe Europeen dObservations Stellaires GEOS | And 88 more authors.
Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan | Year: 2014

Continuing the project undertaken by Kato et al. (2009), we collected times of superhump maxima for 56 SU UMa-type dwarf novae mainly observed during the 2013-2014 season and characterized these objects. We detected negative superhumps in VW Hyi and indicated that the low number of normal outbursts in some supercycles can be interpreted as a result of disk tilt. This finding, combined with the Kepler observation of V1504 Cyg and V344 Lyr, suggests that disk tilt is responsible for modulating the outburst pattern in SU UMa-type dwarf novae. We also studied the deeply eclipsing WZ Sge-type dwarf nova MASTER OT J005740.99+443101.5 and found evidence of a sharp eclipse during the phase of early superhumps. The profile can be reproduced by a combination of the eclipse of the axisymmetric disk and the uneclipsed light source of early superhumps. This finding shows the lack of evidence for a greatly enhanced hot spot during the early stage of WZ Sge-type outburst. We detected growing (stage A) superhumps in MN Dra and give a suggestion that some of SU UMa-type dwarf novae situated near the critical condition of tidal instability may show long-lasting stage A superhumps. The large negative period derivatives reported in such systems can be understood as a result of the combination of stage A and B superhumps. Two WZ Sge-type dwarf novae, AL Com and ASASSN-13ck, showed a long-lasting (plateau-type) rebrightening. In the early phase of their rebrightenings, both objects showed a precursor-like outburst, suggesting that the long-lasting rebrightening is triggered by a precursor outburst. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Astronomical Society of Japan. All rights reserved. Source


Kato T.,Kyoto University | Hambsch F.-J.,Groupe Europeen dObservations Stellaires GEOS | Maehara H.,Kyoto University | Masi G.,Virtual Telescope Project | And 84 more authors.
Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan | Year: 2013

Continuing the project described by Kato et al. (2009, PASJ, 61, S395), we collected times of superhump maxima for 86 SU UMa-type dwarf novae, mainly observed during the 2011-2012 season. We confirmed general trends recorded in our previous studies, such as the relation between period derivatives and orbital periods. There are some systems showing positive period derivatives despite the long orbital period. We observed the 2011 outburst of the WZ Sge-type dwarf nova BW Scl, and recorded an O - C diagram similar to those of previously known WZSge-type dwarf novae. The WZ Sge-type dwarf nova OT J184228.1+483742 showed an unusual pattern of double outbursts composed of an outburst with early superhumps and one with ordinary superhumps. We propose an interpretation that a very small growth rate of the 3:1 resonance due to an extremely low mass-ratio led to quenching the superoutburst before the ordinary superhump appeared. We systematically studied ER UMa-type dwarf novae, and found that V1159 Ori showed positive superhumps similar to ER UMa in the 1990s. The recently recognized ER UMa-type object BK Lyn dominantly showed negative superhumps, and its behavior was very similar to the present-day state of ER UMa. The pattern of period variations in AM CVn-type objects was very similar to that of short-period hydrogen-rich SU UMa-type dwarf novae, making them a helium analogue of hydrogenrich SU UMa-type dwarf novae. SBS 1108+574, a peculiar hydrogen-rich dwarf nova below the period minimum, showed a very similar pattern of period variations to those of short-period SU UMa-type dwarf novae. The massratio derived from the detected orbital period suggests that this secondary is a somewhat evolved star whose hydrogen envelope was mostly stripped during the mass-exchange. CC Scl, MASTER OT J072948.66+593824.4, and OT J173516.9+154708 showed only low-amplitude superhumps with complex profiles. These superhumps are likely to be a combination of two closely separated periods. © 2013. Astronomical Society of Japan. Source


Kato T.,Kyoto University | Maehara H.,Kyoto University | Miller I.,Furzehill House | Ohshima T.,Kyoto University | And 76 more authors.
Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan | Year: 2012

Continuing the project described by Kato et al. (2009, PASJ, 61, S395), we collected the times of superhump maxima for 51 SU UMa-type dwarf novae, mainly observed during the 2010-2011 season. Although most of the new data for systems with short superhump periods basically confirmed the findings by Kato et al. (ibid.) and Kato et al. (2010, PASJ, 62, 1525), the long-period system GX Cas showed an exceptionally large positive-period derivative. An analysis of public Kepler data of V344 Lyr and V1504 Cyg yielded less-striking stage transitions. In V344 Lyr, there was a prominent secondary component growing during the late stage of superoutbursts, and this component persisted for at least two more cycles of successive normal outbursts. We also investigated the superoutburst of two conspicuous eclipsing objects: HT Cas and the WZ Sge-type object SDSS J080434.20+510349.2. Strong beat phenomena were detected in both objects, and late-stage superhumps in the latter object had an almost constant luminosity during repeated rebrightenings. The WZ Sge-type object SDSS J133941.11+484727.5 showed a phase reversal around the rapid fading from the superoutburst. The object showed a prominent beat phenomenon, even after the end of the superoutburst. A pilot study of superhump amplitudes indicated that the amplitude of superhumps is strongly correlated with the orbital period, and the dependence on the inclination is weak in systems with inclinations smaller than 80°. © 2012. Astronomical Society of Japan. Source

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