Astrophys. J., 760, 134 (2012/December-1)
Modeling the accretion structure of AU Mon.
ATWOOD-STONE C., MILLER B.P., RICHARDS M.T., BUDAJ J. and PETERS G.J.
Abstract (from CDS):
AU Mon is a long-period (11.113 days) Algol-type binary system with a persistent accretion disk that is apparent as double-peaked Hα emission. We present previously unpublished optical spectra of AU Mon which were obtained over 20 years from 1991-2011 with dense orbital phase coverage. We utilize these data, along with archival UV spectra, to model the temperature and structure of the accretion disk and the gas stream. Synthetic spectral profiles for lines including Hα, Hβ, and the Al III and Si IV doublets were computed with the Shellspec program. The best match between the model spectra and the observations is obtained for an accretion disk of inner/outer radius 5.1/23 R☉, thickness of 5.2 R☉, density of 1.0 x10–13 g/cm3, and maximum temperature of 14,000 K, along with a gas stream at a temperature of ∼8000 K transferring ∼2.4x10–9 M☉/yr. We show Hα Doppler tomograms of the velocity structure of the gas, constructed from difference profiles calculated through sequentially subtracting contributions from the stars and accretion structures. The tomograms provide independent support for the Shellspec modeling, while also illustrating that residual emission at sub-Keplerian velocities persists even after subtracting the disk and stream emission. Spectral variability in the Hα profile beyond that expected from either the orbital or the long-period cycle is present on both multi-week and multi-year timescales, and may reflect quasi-random changes in the mass transfer rate or the disk structure. Finally, a transient UV spectral absorption feature may be modeled as an occasional outflow launched from the vicinity of the disk-stream interaction region.
accretion, accretion disks - binaries: eclipsing - circumstellar matter - line: profiles - stars: imaging - stars: individual (AU Mon, β Lyr, CX Dra, SS Cyg, TT Hya, V393 Sco)
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