NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2004A-0208

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Proposal Information for 2004A-0208


PI: Heather Osborne, New Mexico State University, hosborne@nmsu.edu
Address: Astronomy Department, Box 30001/MSC 4500, Las Cruces, NM 88001, USA

CoI: Tom Harrison, New Mexico State University
CoI: Bernie McNamara, New Mexico State University

Title: Determining the Masses of Cataclysmic Variables: Radial Velocities

Abstract: It is clear that our understanding of the nature and history of cataclysmic variables (CVs) is incomplete. For example, Howell et. al. (2001) argue that the secondary star of a CV system is out of thermal equilibrium as it undergoes mass transfer (contrary to standard theory), resulting in a mass-radius relationship different from the standard M-R track. Pinsonneault et. al. (2002) have suggested a bimodal distribution for CV secondary stars which could cause abundance anomalies as well as a different mass-radius relationship for the secondaries. Testing these theories requires better knowledge of CV system characteristics, particularly the component masses. Radial velocity measurements are crucial for the determination of secondary star masses. We request seven nights with GoldCam on the 2.1 m telescope to measure the radial velocities of four to eight targets.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2004A-0208

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