Hubble Space Telescope FUV spectra of the post-common-envelope hyades binary V471 Tauri

Edward M. Sion, Howard E. Bond, Don Lindler, Patrick Godon, Dayal Wickramasinghe, Lilia Ferrario, Jean Dupuis

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We have carried out an analysis of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST)/STIS archival spectra of the magnetic white dwarf (WD) in the Hyades eclipsing-spectroscopic, post-common-envelope binary V471 Tauri, time resolved on the orbit and on the X-ray rotational phase of the magnetic WD. An HST/STIS spectrum obtained during primary eclipse reveals a host of transition region/chromospheric emission features including N V (1238, 1242), Si IV (1393, 1402), C IV (1548, 1550), and He II (1640). The spectroscopic characteristics and emission line fluxes of the transition region/chromosphere of the very active, rapidly rotating, K2V component of V471 Tauri are compared with the emission characteristics of fast rotating Kdwarfs in young open clusters. We have detected a number of absorption features associated with metals accreted onto the photosphere of the magnetic WD from which we derive radial velocities. All of the absorption features are modulated on the 555s rotation period of the WD with maximum line strength at rotational phase 0.0 when the primary magnetic accretion region is facing the observer. The photospheric absorption features show no clear evidence of Zeeman splitting and no evidence of a correlation between their variations in strength and orbital phase. We report clear evidence of a secondary accretion pole. We derive C and Si abundances from the Si IV and C III features. All other absorption lines are either interstellar or associated with a region above the WD and/or with coronal mass ejection events illuminated as they pass in front of the WD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number66
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 20 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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