CBA Center for Backyard Astrophysics



X-ray Variability of the Magnetic Cataclysmic Variable V1432 Aql and the Seyfert Galaxy NGC 6814

Koji Mukai, Coel Hellier, Greg Madejski, Joseph Patterson, and David Skillman

Astrophysical Journal

(accepted, in press)

V1432 Aquilae (=RX J1940.2-1025) is the X-ray bright, eclipsing magnetic cataclysmic variable ~37' away from the Seyfert galaxy, NGC 6814. Due to a 0.3% difference between the orbital (12116.3 s) and the spin (12150 s) periods, the accretion geometry changes over the ~50 day beat period. Here we report the results of an RXTE campaign to observe the eclipse 25 times, as well as of archival observations with ASCA and BeppoSAX. Having confirmed that the eclipse is indeed caused by the secondary, we use the eclipse timings and profiles to map the accretion geometry as a function of the beat phase. We find that the accretion region is compact, and that it moves relative to the center of white dwarf on the beat period. The amplitude of this movement suggest a low-mass white dwarf, in contrast to the high mass previously estimated from its X-ray spectrum. The size of the X-ray emission region appears to be larger than in other eclipsing magnetic CVs. We also report on the RXTE data as well as the long-term behavior of NGC 6814, indicating flux variability by a factor of at least 10 on time scales of years.

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Copyright © 2003 American Astronomical Society.