CBA Center for Backyard Astrophysics



FS Aurigae: A New Class of Cataclysmic Variables or the Missing Link between Intermediate Polars and SW Sextantis Objects?

Gaghik Tovmassian, Sergei Zharikov, Raul Michel, Vitaly Neustroev, Jochen Greiner, David Skillman, David Harvey, Robert Fried, and Joseph Patterson

Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific

June 2003, Volume 115, Page 725

FS Aur is a known dwarf nova with an orbital period of about 85.7 minutes. It has been assumed to be a member of the SU UMa subclass of cataclysmic variables, but previous searches for superhumps and superoutbursts have been unsuccessful. We conducted a series of photometric and spectroscopic observations of FS Aur during quiescence. We confirmed its short orbital period from radial velocity measurements. However, the long-term photometry revealed an unexpected result: the system also shows a distinct 0.24 mag modulation in the BVR photometric bands with a period of 205.5 minutes, which is 2.4 times longer than the orbital period. We discuss various possible causes for such a peculiar behavior.

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Copyright © 2003 Astronomical Society of the Pacific.