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Astron. Astrophys. 353, 244-252 (2000)

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The zoo of dwarf novae: illumination, evaporation and disc radius variation

Jean-Marie Hameury 1,2, Jean-Pierre Lasota  *  2,3 and Brian Warner 4

1 UMR 7550 du CNRS, Observatoire de Strasbourg, 11 rue de l'Université, 67000 Strasbourg, France (hameury@astro.u-strasbg.fr)
2 Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-4030, USA
3 Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, 98bis Boulevard Arago, 75014 Paris, France (lasota@iap.fr)
4 Department of Astronomy, University of Cape Town, Private Bag, Rondebosch 7700, Cape Town, South Africa (warner@physci.uct.ac.za)

Received 10 August 1999 / Accepted 22 October 1999


In the framework of the dwarf nova thermal-viscous disc instability model, we investigate the combined effects on the predicted dwarf nova lightcurves of irradiating the accretion disc and the secondary star and of evaporating the inner parts of the disc. We assume the standard values of viscosity. We confirm the suggestion by Warner (1998) that the large variety of observed outbursts' behaviour may result from the interplay of these three effects. We are able to reproduce light curves reminiscent of those of systems such as RZ LMi or EG Cnc. We can obtain long lasting outbursts, very similar to superoutbursts, without assuming the presence of a tidal instability.

Key words: accretion, accretion disks – instabilities – stars: binaries: close – stars: novae, cataclysmic variables

* also: DARC, Observatoire de Paris, France

Send offprint requests to: J.-M. Hameury (hameury@astro.u-strasbg.fr)

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: December 8, 1999