Optical Photometry of Six Eclipsing Polars: DP Leo, J1312+1737, HS Cam, FL Cet, EP Dra, and CRTS 0350+3232.
December 21, 2019
February 14, 2020
I present optical photometry obtained in order to address several long-standing problems in the field of magnetic cataclysmic variables (MCVs). Specifically, the important problems concerning, both long- and short-term evolution of the binary and the origin of the variable accretion rate in polars. Numerous high time-resolution light curves of eclipsing polars using the 2.1-m telescope of McDonald Observatory have been obtained in order to investigate potential period changes that may be due to one or more factors. Period changes on the time-scale of years to decades may originate due to changes in accretion rate, magnetic cycles of the donor, and long term secular evolution. By collecting many high-precision light curves, the effects due to binary evolution such as angular momentum loss by gravitational radiation and donor star winds may be studied. We present 1-5 second time resolution photometry of six polars and long-term (9 yr) photometric sampling by the Catalina Real-Time Transit Survey (CRTS) of the same binaries. Preliminary results in this regard are given, emphasizing a range of features seen in the light curves of the polars DP Leo, J1312+1737, HS Cam, FL Cet, EP Dra, and CRTS 0350+3232. Features such as pre-eclipse absorption dips, un-eclipsed accretion stream emission, and one vs. two spot accretion are observed from system to system and within single binaries as a function of accretion rate. The combination of high-speed photometry and long-term monitoring will aid in this effort.
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