Discovery Of A Nova-Like Cataclysmic Variable In The Kepler Mission Field

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Williams, Kurtis A.
de Martino, Domitilla
Silvotti, Roberto
Bruni, Ivan
Dufour, Patrick
Riecken, Thomas S.
Kronberg, Martin
Mukadam, Anjum
Handler, G.

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We announce the identification of a new cataclysmic variable (CV) star in the field of the Kepler Mission, KIC J192410.81+445934.9. This system was identified during a search for compact pulsators in the Kepler field. High-speed photometry reveals coherent large-amplitude variability with a period of 2.94 hr. Rapid, large-amplitude quasi-periodic variations are also detected on time scales of approximate to 1200 s and approximate to 650 s. Time-resolved spectroscopy covering one half photometric period shows shallow, broad Balmer and He I absorption lines with bright emission cores as well as strong He II and Bowen blend emission. Radial velocity variations are also observed in the Balmer and He I emission lines that are consistent with the photometric period. We therefore conclude that KIC J192410.81+445934.9 is a nova-like (NL) variable of the UX UMa class in or near the period gap, and it may belong to the rapidly growing subclass of SW Sex systems. Based on Two Micron All Sky Survey photometry and companion star models, we place a lower limit on the distance to the system of similar to 500 pc. Due to limitations of our discovery data, additional observations including spectroscopy and polarimetry are needed to confirm the nature of this object. Such data will enable further understanding of the behavior of NL variables in the critical period range of 3-4 hr, where standard CV evolutionary theory finds major problems. The presence of this system in the Kepler Mission field of view also presents a unique opportunity to obtain a continuous photometric data stream of unparalleled length and precision on a CV system.



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Williams, Kurtis A., Domitilla De Martino, Roberto Silvotti, Ivan Bruni, Patrick Dufour, Thomas S. Riecken, Martin Kronberg, Anjum Mukadam, and G. Handler. >Discovery of a Nova-like Cataclysmic Variable in the Kepler Mission Field.> The Astronomical Journal, Vol, 139, No. 6 (Jun., 2010): 2587.