A far-ultraviolet survey of 47 tucanae. Ii. The long-period cataclysmic variable AKO 9

Christian Knigge, David R. Zurek, Michael M. Shara, Knox S. Long, Ronald L. Gilliland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


We present time-resolved far-ultraviolet (FUV) spectroscopy and photometry of the 1.1 day eclipsing binary system AKO 9 in the globular cluster 47 Tucanae. The FUV spectrum of AKO 9 is blue and exhibits prominent C IV and H II emission lines. The spectrum broadly resembles that of long-period cataclysmic variables (CVs) in the Galactic field. Combining our time-resolved FUV data with archival optical photometry of 47 Tuc, we refine the orbital period of AKO 9 and define an accurate ephemeris for the system. We also place constraints on several other system parameters using a variety of observational constraints. We find that all of the empirical evidence is consistent with AKO 9 being a long-period dwarf nova in which mass transfer is driven by the nuclear expansion of a subgiant donor star. We therefore conclude that AKO 9 is the first spectroscopically confirmed cataclysmic variable in 47 Tuc. We also briefly consider AKO 9's likely formation and ultimate evolution. Regarding the former, we find that the system was almost certainly formed dynamically, either via tidal capture or in a three-body encounter. Regarding the latter, we show that AKO 9 will probably end its CV phase by becoming a detached double white dwarf system or by exploding in a Type Ia supernova.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1320-1332
Number of pages13
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 I
StatePublished - Dec 20 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'A far-ultraviolet survey of 47 tucanae. Ii. The long-period cataclysmic variable AKO 9'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this