CBA Center for Backyard Astrophysics

Periods and Quasiperiods in the Cataclysmic Variable BZ Camelopardalis

Joseph Patterson, Rocio Patino, John Thorstensen, David Harvey, David Skillman, and Frederick Ringwald

Astronomical Journal

June 1996, Volume 111, Page 2422

We report a study of spectroscopic and photometric variations in the cataclysmic variable BZ Camelopardalis. The emission lines move in radial velocity with an underlying period of 0.1533 d, which we take to be the orbital period. A more precise measurement, combining spectroscopic and photometric data, suggests Porb = 0.153693(7) d. The line profiles are characterized by titanic struggles between emission and absorption, roughly resembling the components of a "P Cygni" profile; but the motions of the components do not repeat on the orbital period. The lines probably originate partly in the binary system and partly in the outflowing stellar wind. The light curves are very complex. Precise identification of periods is hampered by the low and variable amplitudes (semiamplitudes < 0.03 mag), but the data suggest the existence of transient signals below and above the orbital frequency. Other possible signals appear near low harmonics of the orbital frequency. It is possible that these represent an unusual incarnation of "superhumps."



Copyright © 1996 American Astronomical Society.