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Serendipitous Discovery of a Dwarf Nova in the Kepler Field Near the G Dwarf Kic 5438845
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2015 (English)In: Astronomical Journal, ISSN 0004-6256, E-ISSN 1538-3881, Vol. 149, no 2, 67Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Kepler satellite provides a unique window into stellar temporal variability by observing a wide variety of stars with multi-year, near-continuous, high precision, optical photometric time series. While most Kepler targets are faint stars with poorly known physical properties, many unexpected discoveries should result from a long photometric survey of such a large area of sky. During our Kepler Guest Observer programs that monitored late-type stars for starspot and flaring variability, we discovered a previously unknown dwarf nova that lies within a few arcseconds of the mid-G dwarf star KIC 5438845. This dwarf nova underwent nine outbursts over a 4 year time span. The two largest outbursts lasted similar to 17-18 days and show strong modulations with a 110.8 minute period and a declining amplitude during the outburst decay phase. These properties are characteristic of an SU UMa-type cataclysmic variable. By analogy with other dwarf nova light curves, we associate the 110.8 minute (1.847 hr) period with the superhump period, close to but slightly longer than the orbital period of the binary. No precursor outbursts are seen before the super-outbursts and the overall super-outburst morphology corresponds to Osaki & Meyer "Case B" outbursts, which are initiated when the outer edge of the disk reaches the tidal truncation radius. "Case B" outbursts are rare within the Kepler light curves of dwarf novae. The dwarf nova is undergoing relatively slow mass transfer, as evidenced by the long intervals between outbursts, but the mass transfer rate appears to be steady, because the smaller "normal" outbursts show a strong correlation between the integrated outburst energy and the elapsed time since the previous outburst. At super-outburst maximum the system was at V similar to 18, but in quiescence it is fainter than V similar to 22, which will make any detailed quiescent follow-up of this system difficult.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 149, no 2, 67
Keyword [en]
stars: dwarf novae, stars: individual (KIC 5438845)
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-246815DOI: 10.1088/0004-6256/149/2/67ISI: 000349360200032OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-246815DiVA: diva2:795376
Available from: 2015-03-16 Created: 2015-03-10 Last updated: 2015-03-16Bibliographically approved

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Piskunov, Nikolai
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