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Astron. Astrophys. 325, 1045-1054 (1997)

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Spindown of the primary in AE Aquarii

Nazar R. Ikhsanov 1, 2

1 Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik der Universität München, Scheinerstrasse1, 81679 München, Germany (ikhsanov@usm.uni-muenchen.de)
2 Central Astronomical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Science at Pulkovo, Pulkovo 65-1, 196140 Saint-Petersburg, Russia

Received 15 January 1997 / Accepted 21 April 1997

Abstract

The mass transfer in AE Aqr is discussed. It is shown that if the secondary is a K3-K5 main sequence red dwarf the system is a wind-fed accretor with the average rate of mass transfer [FORMULA]. Under this condition the rate of accretion of angular momentum is too low for the developed accretion disk to form in the system. Assuming the primary to be an accreting neutron star I have found that the observed rate of its spindown can be easily explained provided the magnetospheric radius of the neutron star [FORMULA]. The 'flip-flop' instability of accretion flow is suggested as a possible mechanism of flaring activity in AE Aqr.

Key words: accretion – stars: cataclysmic variables – stars: neutron – stars: white dwarfs – stars: AE Aqr

Send offprint requests to: N.R. Ikhsanov

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: April 28, 1998

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