Hankasalmi Observatory

Palokka, Finland

Hankasalmi Observatory

Palokka, Finland
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Namekata K.,Kyoto University | Isogai K.,Kyoto University | Kato T.,Kyoto University | Littlefield C.,University of Notre Dame | And 41 more authors.
Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan | Year: 2017

We report on a superoutburst of a WZ Sge-type dwarf nova (DN), ASASSN-15po. The light curve showed the main superoutburst and multiple rebrightenings. In this outburst, we observed early superhumps and growing (stage A) superhumps with periods of 0.050454(2) and 0.051809(13) d, respectively. We estimated that the mass ratio of secondary to primary (q) is 0.0699(8) by using Porb and a superhump period PSH of stage A. ASASSN-15po [Porb ∼ 72.6 min] is the first DN with an orbital period between 67-76 min. Although the theoretical predicted period minimum Pmin of hydrogen-rich cataclysmic variables (CVs) is about 65-70 min, the observational cut-off of the orbital period distribution at 80 min implies that the period minimum is about 82min, and the value is widely accepted. We suggest the following four possibilities: the object is (1) a theoretical period minimum object, (2) a binary with a evolved secondary, (3) a binary with a metal-poor (Popullation II) seconday, or (4) a binary which was born with a brown-dwarf donor below the period minimum.


Patterson J.,Columbia University | Oksanen A.,Hankasalmi Observatory | Kemp J.,Middlebury College | Monard B.,Klein Karoo Observatory | And 13 more authors.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2017

We report a 20-yr campaign to track the 1.8 h photometric (and orbital) wave in the recurrent nova T Pyxidis. Before and after the 2011 eruption, the period increased on a time-scale P/P˙ = 3 × 105 yr. This suggests a mass transfer rate in quiescence of ~10-7M⊙ yr-1, in substantial agreement with the accretion rate based on the star's luminosity. During the eruption itself, a rapid period increase of 0.0054(7) per cent occurred. This is probably a measure of the mass ejected in the outburst. For a plausible choice of binary parameters, that mass is at least 3 × 10-5M⊙, and probably more. This represents > 300 yr of accretion at the pre-outburst rate, but the time between outbursts was only 45 yr. Thus, the erupting white dwarf (WD) seems to have ejected at least six times more mass than it accreted. If this eruption is typical, the WD must be eroding, rather than growing, in mass. Unless the present series of eruptions is a short-lived episode, the binary dynamics will evaporate the secondary in ~105 yr. This could be a major channel by which short-period cataclysmic variables are removed from the population. © 2016 The Authors.


Galan C.,Nicolaus Copernicus University | Galan C.,Olsztyn Planetarium and Astronomical Observatory | Mikolajewski M.,Nicolaus Copernicus University | Tomov T.,Nicolaus Copernicus University | And 99 more authors.
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2012

Context. EE Cep is an unusual long-period (5.6 yr) eclipsing binary discovered during the mid-twentieth century. It undergoes almost-grey eclipses that vary in terms of both depth and duration at different epochs. The system consists of a Be type star and a dark dusty disk around an invisible companion. EE Cep together with the widely studied ε Aur are the only two known cases of long-period eclipsing binaries with a dark, dusty disk component responsible for periodic obscurations. Aims. Two observational campaigns were carried out during the eclipses of EE Cep in 2003 and 2008/9 to verify whether the eclipsing body in the system is indeed a dark disk and to understand the observed changes in the depths and durations of the eclipses. Methods. Multicolour photometric data and spectroscopic observations performed at both low and high resolutions were collected with several dozen instruments located in Europe and North America. We numerically modelled the variations in brightness and colour during the eclipses. We tested models with different disk structure, taking into consideration the inhomogeneous surface brightness of the Be star. We considered the possibility of disk precession. Results. The complete set of observational data collected during the last three eclipses are made available to the astronomical community. The 2003 and 2008/9 eclipses of EE Cep were very shallow. The latter is the shallowest among all observed. The very high quality photometric data illustrate in detail the colour evolution during the eclipses for the first time. Two blue maxima in the colour indices were detected during these two eclipses, one before and one after the photometric minimum. The first (stronger) blue maximum is simultaneous with a "bump" that is very clear in all the UBV(RI)C light curves. A temporary increase in the I-band brightness at the orbital phase ∼0.2 was observed after each of the last three eclipses. Variations in the spectral line profiles seem to be recurrent during each cycle. The Na i lines always show at least three absorption components during the eclipse minimum and strong absorption is superimposed on the Hα emission. Conclusions. These observations confirm that the eclipsing object in EE Cep system is indeed a dark, dusty disk around a low luminosity object. The primary appears to be a rapidly rotating Be star that is strongly darkened at the equator and brightened at the poles. Some of the conclusions of this work require verification in future studies: (i) a complex, possibly multi-ring structure of the disk in EE Cep; (ii) our explanation of the "bump" observed during the last two eclipses in terms of the different times of obscuration of the hot polar regions of the Be star by the disk; and (iii) our suggested period of the disk precession (∼11-12 Porb) and predicted depth of about 2m ̇ for the forthcoming eclipse in 2014. © 2012 ESO.


Bhatta G.,Florida International University | Webb J.R.,Florida International University | Hollingsworth H.,Florida International University | Dhalla S.,Florida International University | And 44 more authors.
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2013

Context. The international Whole Earth Blazar Telescope (WEBT) consortium planned and carried out three days of intensive micro-variability observations of S5 0716 + 714 from February 22, 2009 to February 25, 2009. This object was chosen due to its bright apparent magnitude range, its high declination, and its very large duty cycle for micro-variations. Aims. We report here on the long continuous optical micro-variability light curve of 0716+714 obtained during the multi-site observing campaign during which the Blazar showed almost constant variability over a 0.5 mag range. The resulting light curve is presented here for the first time. Observations from participating observatories were corrected for instrumental differences and combined to construct the overall smoothed light curve. Methods. Thirty-six observatories in sixteen countries participated in this continuous monitoring program and twenty of them submitted data for compilation into a continuous light curve. The light curve was analyzed using several techniques including Fourier transform, Wavelet and noise analysis techniques. Those results led us to model the light curve by attributing the variations to a series of synchrotron pulses. Results. We have interpreted the observed microvariations in this extended light curve in terms of a new model consisting of individual stochastic pulses due to cells in a turbulent jet which are energized by a passing shock and cool by means of synchrotron emission. We obtained an excellent fit to the 72-hour light curve with the synchrotron pulse model. © ESO, 2013.


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.


de Miguel E.,University of Huelva | Patterson J.,Columbia University | Cejudo D.,CBA Madrid | Ulowetz J.,Northbrook Meadow Observatory | And 24 more authors.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2016

We report the results of a long campaign of time series photometry on the nova-like variable UX Ursae Majoris during 2015. It spanned 150 nights, with ~ 1800 h of coverage on 121 separate nights. The star was in its normal 'high state' near magnitude V = 13, with slow waves in the light curve and eclipses every 4.72 h. Remarkably, the star also showed a nearly sinusoidal signal with a full amplitude of 0.44 mag and a period of 3.680 ± 0.007 d. We interpret this as the signature of a retrograde precession (wobble) of the accretion disc. The same period is manifest as a ±33 s wobble in the timings of mid-eclipse, indicating that the disc's centre of light moves with this period. The star also showed strong 'negative superhumps' at frequencies ωorb + N and 2ωorb + N, where ωorb and N are, respectively, the orbital and precession frequencies. It is possible that these powerful signals have been present, unsuspected, throughout the more than 60 yr of previous photometric studies. © 2016 The Authors.


Isogai K.,Kyoto University | Kato T.,Kyoto University | Ohshima T.,University of Hyogo | Kasai K.,Baselstrasse 133D | And 30 more authors.
Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan | Year: 2016

We report on two superoutbursts of the AMCVn-type object CR Boo in 2014 April-March and 2015 May-June. A precursor outburst accompanied both of these superoutbursts. During the rising branch of the main superoutburst in 2014, we detected growing superhumps (stage A superhumps) whose period was 0.017669(24) d. Assuming that this period reflects the dynamical precession rate at the radius of the 3:1 resonance, we could estimate the mass ratio (q = M2/M1) of 0.101(4) by using the stage A superhump period and the orbital period of 0.0170290(6) d. This mass ratio is consistent with that expected from the theoretical evolutionary model of AMCVn-type objects. The detection of precursor outbursts and stage A superhumps is the second case in AMCVn-type objects. There are two interpretations of the outbursts of AMCVn-type objects. One is a dwarf nova (DN) outbursts analogy, which suggets that the outbursts are caused by thermal and tidal instabilities. Another is the VY Scl-type variation, which suggests that the outbursts are caused by the variation of the mass-transfer rate of the secondary. This detection of the superhump variations strongly supports the former interpretation. © The Author 2016.


Kato T.,Kyoto University | Hambsch F.-J.,Groupe Europeen dObservations Stellaires GEOS | Dubovsky P.A.,Vihorlat Observatory | Kudzej I.,Vihorlat Observatory | And 92 more authors.
Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan | Year: 2015

Continuing the project described by Kato et al. (2009, PASJ, 61, S395), we collected times of superhump maxima for 102 SU UMa-type dwarf novae, observed mainly during the 2014-2015 season, and characterized these objects. Our project has greatly improved the statistics of the distribution of orbital periods, which is a good approximation of the distribution of cataclysmic variables at the terminal evolutionary stage, and has confirmed the presence of a period minimum at a period of 0.053 d and a period spike just above this period. The number density monotonically decreased toward the longer period and there was no strong indication of a period gap. We detected possible negative superhumps in Z Cha. It is possible that normal outbursts are also suppressed by the presence of a disk tilt in this system. There was no indication of enhanced orbital humps just preceding the superoutburst, and this result favors the thermal-tidal disk instability as the origin of superoutbursts. We detected superhumps in three AM CVn-type dwarf novae. Our observations and recent other detections suggest that 8% of objects showing dwarf nova-type outbursts are AM CVn-type objects. AM CVn-type objects and EI Psc-type objects may be more abundant than previously recognized. OT J213806, a WZ Sge-type object, exhibited remarkably different features between the 2010 and 2014 superoutbursts. Although the 2014 superoutburst was much fainter, the plateau phase was shorter than the 2010 one, and the course of the rebrightening phase was similar. This object indicates that the O - C diagrams of superhumps can indeed be variable, at least in WZ Sge-type objects. Four deeply eclipsing SU UMa-type dwarf novae (ASASSN-13cx, ASASSN-14ag, ASASSN-15bu, and NSV 4618) were identified. We studied long-term trends in supercycles in MM Hya and CY UMa and found systematic variations of supercycles of ∼20%. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Astronomical Society of Japan. All rights reserved.


Schwope A.D.,Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam | Mackebrandt F.,Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam | Thinius B.D.,Inastars Observatory | Littlefield C.,University of Notre Dame | And 4 more authors.
Astronomische Nachrichten | Year: 2015

The eclipsing polar CSS081231:071126+440405 turned bright (Vmax ∼ 14.5) in late 2008 and was subsequently observed intensively with small and medium-sized telescopes. A homogeneous analysis of this comprehensive dataset comprising 109 eclipse epochs is presented and a linear ephemeris covering the five years of observations, about 24000 orbital cycles, is derived. Formally this sets rather tight constraints on the mass of a hypothetical circumbinary planet, Mpl ≤ 2 MJup. This preliminary result needs consolidation by long-term monitoring of the source. The eclipse lasts 433.08 ± 0.65 s, and the orbital inclination is found to be i = 79.3°-83.7°. The centre of the bright phase displays accretion-rate dependent azimuthal shifts. No accretion geometry is found that explains all observational constraints, suggesting a complex accretion geometry with possible pole switches and a likely non-dipolar field geometry. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

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