RAT J1953+1859: a dwarf nova discovered through high amplitude QPOs in quiescence

G. Ramsay, P. Hakala, T. Barclay, P.J. Wheatley, G. Marshall, H. Lehto, R. Napiwotzki, G. Nelemans, S. Potter, I. Todd

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We report the discovery of an accreting binary, RAT J1953+1859, made during the RApid Temporal Survey (RATS) on the Isaac Newton Telescope. It showed high amplitude (0.3 mag) quasi-periodic oscillations on a time-scale of ∼20 min. Further observations made using the Nordic Optical Telescope showed it to be ∼4 mag brighter than in the discovery images. These photometric observations, together with radial velocity data taken using the William Herschel Telescope, point to an orbital period of ∼90 min. These data suggest that RAT J1953+1859 is a dwarf novae of the SU UMa type. What makes RAT J1953+1859 unusual is that it is the first such system to be discovered as a result of high amplitude QPOs during quiescence. This suggests that high-cadence wide-field surveys could be another means to discover cataclysmic variables as a result of their short period variability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1333-1338
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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