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Astron. Astrophys. 358, 201-207 (2000)

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Signs of a dead disk in AE Aquarii

N.R. Ikhsanov 1,2

1 Central Astronomical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Science at Pulkovo, Pulkovo 65-1, 196140 Saint-Petersburg, Russia (ikhsanov@gao.spb.ru)
2 Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, D-53121 Bonn, Germany

Received 3 February 2000 / Accepted 21 March 2000


The mass-exchange picture in the close binary AE Aqr is discussed in the frame of the pulsar-like white dwarf model (Ikhsanov 1998, 1999). It is shown that within this approach a dead disk around the white dwarf magnetosphere is expected. The disk forms during (and/or just after) the outburst associated with the white dwarf spin-up [FORMULA] spin-down state transition. In the current epoch the inner and the outer radii of the disk are evaluated as [FORMULA] cm and [FORMULA] cm, respectively, and the average mass-exchange rate in the system is [FORMULA]. About a half of the accretion energy is released in the boundary layer at the inner edge of the disk in the optical-UV (about 80%) and soft X-ray (about 20%) spectral domains. The mass exchange between the components is governed by the stream-fed mechanism of mass transfer through the [FORMULA] point. The plasma inflowing from the secondary interacts with the outer edge of the dead disk and streams out from the system mainly at phases [FORMULA]. The velocity of outflowing plasma in quiescence lies within the interval [FORMULA] and its temperature is about [FORMULA] K. The other parts of the dead disk are relatively cool [FORMULA] K and contribute to the system radiation in the IR spectral region.

Key words: stars: novae, cataclysmic variables – stars: magnetic fields – stars: pulsars: general – stars: individual: AE Aqr

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2000

Online publication: June 26, 2000