Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 436, 241-252 (2013/November-3)
A magnetic white dwarf in a detached eclipsing binary.
PARSONS S.G., MARSH T.R., GANSICKE B.T., SCHREIBER M.R., BOURS M.C.P., DHILLON V.S. and LITTLEFAIR S.P.
Abstract (from CDS):
SDSS J030308.35+005444.1 is a close, detached, eclipsing white dwarf plus M dwarf binary which shows a large infrared excess which has been interpreted in terms of a circumbinary dust disc. In this paper, we present optical and near-infrared photometric and spectroscopic data for this system. At optical wavelengths, we observe heated pole caps from the white dwarf caused by accretion of wind material from the main-sequence star on to the white dwarf. At near-infrared wavelengths, we see the eclipse of two poles on the surface of the white dwarf by the main-sequence star indicating that the white dwarf is magnetic. Our spectroscopic observations reveal Zeeman-split emission lines in the hydrogen Balmer series, which we use to measure the magnetic field strength as 8MG. This measurement indicates that the cyclotron lines are located in the infrared, naturally explaining the infrared excess without the need for a circumbinary dust disc. We also detect magnetically confined material located roughly midway between the two stars. Using measurements of the radial velocity amplitude and rotational broadening of the M star, we constrain the physical parameters of the system, a first for a magnetic white dwarf, and the location of the poles on the surface of the white dwarf. SDSS J030308.35+005444.1 is a pre-cataclysmic variable that will likely evolve into an intermediate polar in ∼ 1Gyr.
© 2013 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society (2013)
binaries: eclipsing - stars: late-type - stars: magnetic field - white dwarfs
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