Observations of the dwarf nova VW Hydri in quiescence with the hopkins ultraviolet telescope

Knox S. Long, William P. Blair, Ivan Hubeny, John C. Raymond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The dwarf nova VW Hydri was in quiescence when it was observed in 1995 March with the Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope on the Astro-2 space shuttle mission. The far-UV (820-1840 A) spectra are punctuated by broad Lyα and Lyβ absorption profiles and narrow absorption lines which can be identified with transitions expected in the atmosphere of a moderate-temperature white dwarf. There is no detectable emission shortward of 980 Å. The only emission line seen is C iv λλ1548, 1551. If the emission from VW Hyi is due to a uniform-temperature white dwarf, then our spectra suggest that the temperature of the white dwarf was ∼ 17,000 K at the time of our observations and that abundances in the atmosphere were subsolar. Improved fits to the data are obtained using models in which the far-UV emission arises in part from a white dwarf with near-solar abundances and in part from the accretion disk. However, given the uncertainties in model spectra of metal-enriched atmospheres in this temperature range and our limited knowledge of quiescent accretion disks, higher S/N spectra are needed to unambiguously assess the disk contribution to the far-UV spectrum of VW Hyi in quiescence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)964-972
Number of pages9
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART I
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Binaries: close
  • Novae, cataclysmic variables
  • Stars: individual (VW Hydri)
  • Ultraviolet: stars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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