3 years ago

An Estimation of the White Dwarf Mass in the Dwarf Nova GK Persei with NuSTAR Observations of Two States.

Takayuki Yuasa, Kazuo Makishima, Kazuhiro Nakazawa, Takayuki Hayashi, Manabu Ishida, Yuuki Wada

We report on X-ray observations of the Dwarf Nova GK Persei performed by {\it NuSTAR} in 2015. GK Persei, behaving also as an Intermediate Polar, exhibited a Dwarf Nova outburst in 2015 March--April. The object was observed with {\sl NuSTAR} during the outburst state, and again in a quiescent state wherein the 15--50 keV flux was 33 times lower. Using a multi-temperature plasma emission and reflection model, the highest plasma temperature in the accretion column was measured as $19.7^{+1.3}_{-1.0}$~keV in outburst and $36.2^{+3.5}_{-3.2}$~keV in quiescence. The significant change of the maximum temperature is considered to reflect an accretion-induced decrease of the inner-disk radius $R_{\rm in}$, where accreting gas is captured by the magnetosphere. Assuming this radius scales as $R_{\rm in} \propto \dot{M}^{-2/7}$ where $\dot{M}$ is the mass accretion rate, we obtain $R_{\rm in} = 1.9 ^{+0.4}_{-0.2}~R_{\rm WD}$ and $R_{\rm in} = 7.4^{+2.1}_{-1.2}~R_{\rm WD}$ in outburst and quiescence respectively, where $R_{\rm WD}$ is the white-dwarf radius of this system. Utilising the measured temperatures and fluxes, as well as the standard mass-radius relation of white dwarfs, we estimate the white-dwarf mass as $M_{\rm WD} = 0.87~\pm~0.08~M_{\rm \odot}$ including typical systematic uncertainties by 7%. The surface magnetic field is also measured as $B \sim 5 \times 10^{5}$~G. These results exemplify a new X-ray method of estimating $M_{\rm WD}$ and $B$ of white dwarfs by using large changes in $\dot{M}$.

Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1711.01727

DOI: arXiv:1711.01727v1

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