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Radio flares from AE Aquarii - A low-power analog to Cygnus X-3? [ Erratum: 1988ApJ...330..518B ]
Bastian, T. S.; Dulk, G. A.; Chanmugam, G.
AA(Colorado, University, Boulder), AB(Colorado, University, Boulder), AC(Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge; Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD)
Astrophysical Journal, Part 1 (ISSN 0004-637X), vol. 324, Jan. 1, 1988, p. 431-440. (ApJ Homepage)
Publication Date:
NASA/STI Keywords:
Cataclysmic Variables, Radio Sources (Astronomy), Stellar Flares, Stellar Radiation, X Ray Binaries, Accretion Disks, Dwarf Novae, Magnetic Stars, Radiant Flux Density, White Dwarf Stars
Bibliographic Code:


The magnetic cataclysmic variable AE Aquarii has been observed at 1.5, 4.9, 15, and 22.5 GHz. The source shows temporal variations in the flux density, often with a flarelike morphology. The flux variations are at times extreme, with values ranging from 1-12 mJy at 15 GHz; the degree of variability increases with frequency. The spectrum shows a variety of short-term behavior, at times increasing as nu, at other times decreasing with nu, and at still others flat. The long-term average of the spectrum increases as nu exp 0.3-0.4. No significant degree of circular polarization was observed. The source properties can be explained as a superposition of flare events in which electrons are accelerated to relativistic energies which then emit synchrotron radiation in discrete, expanding sources. The origin of the flare events may be connected to the disruption of the accretion disk some ditance from the white dwarf primary. The radio emission of AE Aqr shows similarities to the low-level flares from Cygnus X-3.

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