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VLA Observations of the AE Aqr-type Cataclysmic Variable LAMOST J024048.51+195226.9

Presentation #410.04 in the session Cataclysmic Variables, Novae, and Symbiotic Stars.

Published onJun 29, 2022
VLA Observations of the AE Aqr-type Cataclysmic Variable LAMOST J024048.51+195226.9

AE Aqr was until recently the magnetic cataclysmic variable (MCV) containing the fastest spinning (33.08 s) white dwarf (WD). Its radio emission is believed to be a superposition of synchrotron emitting plasmoids, because it has a positive spectral index spanning three orders of magnitude (2–2000 GHz) and is unpolarized. Both characteristics are unusual for MCVs. Recently, Thorstensen has suggested that the cataclysmic variable LAMOST J024048.51+195226.9 (henceforth, J0240+19) is a twin of AE Aqr based on its optical spectra. Optical photometry shows the star to be a high-inclination, eclipsing binary with a spin period of 24.93 s, making it the fastest spinning WD. This paper presents three hours of Very Large Array radio observations of J0240+19. These observations show that the persistent radio emission from J0240+19 is unlike that of AE Aqr in that it shows high circular polarization and a negative spectral index. The emission is most similar to the nova-like CV V603 Aql. We argue that the radio emission is caused by a superposition of plasmoids emitting plasma radiation or electron cyclotron maser emission from the lower corona of the donor star and not from the magnetosphere near the WD, because the latter site is expected to be modulated at the orbital period of the binary and to show eclipses of which there is no evidence. The radio source J0240+19, although weak (<1 mJy), is a persistent source in a high-inclination eclipsing binary, making it a good laboratory for studying radio emission from CVs.

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