NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2003B-0238

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Proposal Information for 2003B-0238


PI: Heather Osborne, New Mexico State University, hosborne@nmsu.edu
Address: Astronomy Department, Box 30001/MSC 4500, Las Cruces, NM 88003, U.S.A.

CoI: Tom Harrison, New Mexico State University
CoI: Steve Howell, Planetary Science Institute
CoI: Bernie McNamara, New Mexico State University

Title: CV Secondary Star Masses: The Continuing Story

Abstract: It has become clear that our understanding of the nature and evolutionary history of cataclysmic variable (CV) stars is incomplete . Pinsonneault et. al. (2002) have suggested a bimodal distribution for CV secondary stars which could cause chemical abundance anomalies (other possible causes mentioned below). Testing these theories requires knowledge of CV system parameters and chemical abundances. Using infrared spectroscopy (OSIRIS and the IRTF's SPEX), Harrison et al. (2002) have identified several CVs with peculiar abundances (levels of ^\rm 13C enhancement yielding ^\rm 12C/^\rm 13C ratios of 3; normal is 89!). More information is needed to determine the reason for these anomalies. To help solve these problems, we must better understand CV system properties. One crucial parameter we require for \it both components in these systems is mass. System orbital inclinations, used with optical, phase-resolved radial velocity data, will yield this information. We request four nights with SQIID to measure the infrared ellipsoidal variations of three to six CV secondary stars (mostly longer-period), allowing us to derive their orbital inclinations.


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