Journal Article

Iron Kα linewidths in magnetic cataclysmic variables

Coel Hellier, Koji Mukai and J. P. Osborne

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 297, issue 2, pages 526-530
Published in print June 1998 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online June 1998 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Iron Kα linewidths in magnetic cataclysmic variables

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Following a recent report that AO Psc has broad iron Kα emission lines we have looked at the ASCA spectra of 15 magnetic cataclysmic variables. We find that half of the systems have Kα lines broadened by ∼ 200 eV, while the remainder have narrow lines. We argue that the Doppler effect is insufficient to explain the finding and propose that the lines originate in accretion columns on the verge of optical thickness, where Compton scattering of resonantly trapped line photons broadens the profile. We suggest that the broadening is a valuable diagnostic of conditions in the accretion column.

Keywords: accretion, accretion discs; binaries: close; novae, cataclysmic variables; X-rays: stars

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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