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Astron. Astrophys. 327, 648-655 (1997)

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SS433 in the ultraviolet *

J.F. Dolan 1, P.T. Boyd 1, 2, S. Fabrika 3, S. Tapia 3, V. Bychkov 3, A.A. Panferov 3, M.J. Nelson 4, J.W. Percival 4, G.W. van Citters 5, D.C. Taylor 6 and M.J. Taylor 7

1 Laboratory for Astronomy & Solar Physics NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 USA
2 Universities Space Research Association @ NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 USA
3 Special Astrophysical Observatory, Nizhnij Arkhyz, Karachai-Cherkess Republic, 357147, Russia
4 Department of Astronomy & Space Astronomy Laboratory, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706 USA
5 Division of Astronomical Sciences, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22230 USA
6 Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 USA
7 Department of Physics and Engineering, Loras College, P.O. Box 178, Dubuque, IA 52004 USA

Received 2 April 1997 / Accepted 27 June 1997


The High Speed Photometer (HSP) on the Hubble Space Telescope observed SS433 at 15 different epochs between 1993 May and November. Polarimetric observations were obtained in a 340 Å FWHM bandpass centered at 2770 Å; photometric observations were made in a bandpass extending between 1400 and 3000 Å. The polarization in the UV is both large ([FORMULA]) and variable. Observations at the 6-m telescope of the Special Astrophysical Observatory find the polarization in the U band to be intermediate in magnitude between that in the V band and that we detect in the UV. These results are best explained by the existence of a Rayleigh scattering component in the polarized radiation. Less than 1.2% of the flux from SS433 between 1400 and 3000 Å is modulated with a period between [FORMULA] and 100 s at 164-d phase [FORMULA], when the two sets of emission lines in the SS433 spectrum have a local maximum in the separation of their redshifts.

Key words: polarization – stars: individual: SS433 – ultraviolet: stars

* Based in part on observations with the Hubble Space Telescope obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc. under NASA contract NAS5-26555.

Send offprint requests to: J.F. Dolan

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1997

Online publication: April 6, 1998