CBA Center for Backyard Astrophysics

The Orbital Period of AM Canum Venaticorum

David Harvey, David Skillman, Jonathan Kemp, Joseph Patterson, Tonny Vanmunster, Robert Fried, and Alon Retter

Astrophysical Journal, Letters

1 February 1998, Volume 493, Page L105

We report the discovery of a strictly periodic signal at 1028.7325 ± 0.0004 s in the light curve of the cataclysmic variable AM Canum Venaticorum. This brings to an end the long search for the true binary period of this important star, which represents the latest known stage of binary star evolution. It provides a more secure and quantitative basis for testing theories of binary evolution. And it provides strong evidence in favor of the "permanent superhump" interpretation of this star, and other cataclysmic variables of extreme mass ratio.

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