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Astron. Astrophys. 354, 605-609 (2000)


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RX J1313.2-3259, a missing link in CV evolution? *

B.T. Gänsicke 1, K. Beuermann 1, D. de Martino 2 and H.-C. Thomas 3

1 Universitäts-Sternwarte, Geismarlandstrasse 11, 37083 Göttingen, Germany
2 Osservatorio di Capodimonte, Via Moiariello 16, 80131 Napoli, Italy
3 MPI für Astrophysik, Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 1, 85470 Garching, Germany

Received 5 October 1999 / Accepted 20 October 1999

Abstract

We present low-state IUE spectroscopy of the ROSAT-discovered polar RX J1313.2-3259. The SWP spectrum displays a broad [FORMULA] absorption profile, which can be fitted with a two-temperature model of a white dwarf of [FORMULA] K with a hot spot of [FORMULA] K which covers [FORMULA] of the white dwarf surface. The white dwarf temperature is atypically low for the long orbital period (4.18 h) of RX J1313.2-3259. This low temperature implies either that the system is a young CV in the process of switching on mass transfer or that it is an older CV found in a prolonged state of low accretion rate, much below that predicted by standard evolution theory. In the first case, we can put a lower limit on the life time as pre-CV of [FORMULA] yrs. In the second case, the good agreement of the white dwarf temperature with that expected from compressional heating suggests that the system has experienced the current low accretion rate for an extended period [FORMULA] yrs. A possible explanation for the low accretion rate is that RX J1313.2-3259 is a hibernating post nova and observational tests are suggested.

Key words: accretion, accretion disks – stars: binaries: close – stars: individual: RX J1313.2-3259 – X-rays: stars

* Based on observations made with the International Ultraviolet Explorer

Send offprint requests to: B.T. Gänsicke (boris@uni-sw.gwdg.de)

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: February 9, 2000

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