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Recurrent novae at quiescence: systems with giant secondaries
Received 21 August 1998 / Accepted 9 December 1998
Spectroscopic and photometric behaviour of the class of recurrent novae with giant secondaries (T Coronae Borealis, RS Ophiuchi, V3890 Sagittarii and V745 Scorpii) at quiescence are presented in this study. The hot component in these systems is variable, with the variability manifesting as variability in the ultraviolet luminosity, the ultraviolet and optical emission line fluxes and in the UBV/visual magnitudes. The variations are uncorrelated with the binary orbital motion. The observed ultraviolet+optical spectral characteristics of the hot component in these systems can be explained by a white dwarf+accretion disc embedded in an envelope of wind from the M giant secondary. We suggest that the observed variations are a result of (a) fluctuations in the mass accretion rate; (b) changes in the column density of the absorbing wind envelope, which is optically thick.
Key words: stars: binaries: symbiotic stars: novae, cataclysmic variables stars: individual: T CrB, RS Oph, V3890 Sgr, V745 Sco
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Online publication: March 10, 1999