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Physical & Earth Sciences


Sequences of spectra of the nova-like cataclysmic variable (CV) BZ Cam were acquired on nine nights in 2005-2006 in order to study the time development of episodes of wind activity known to occur frequently in this star. We confirm the results of Ringwald & Naylor that the P-Cygni absorption components of the lines mostly evolve from higher expansion velocity to lower velocity as an episode progresses. We also commonly find blueshifted emission components in the Hα line profile, whose velocities and durations strongly suggest that they are also due to the wind. Curiously, Ringwald & Naylor reported common occurrences of redshifted Hα emission components in their BZ Cam spectra. We have attributed these emission components in Hα to occasions when gas concentrations in the bipolar wind (both front side and back side) become manifested as emission lines as they move beyond the disk's outer edge. We also suggest, based on changes in the P-Cygni profiles during an episode, that the progression from larger to smaller expansion velocities is due to the higher velocity portions of a wind concentration moving beyond the edge of the continuum light of the disk first, leaving a net redward shift of the remaining absorption profile. We derive a new orbital ephemeris for BZ Cam, using the radial velocity of the core of the He I λ5876 line, finding P = 0.15353(4). Using this period, the wind episodes in BZ Cam are found to be concentrated near the inferior conjunction of the emission line source. This result helps confirm that the winds in nova-like CVs are often phase dependent, in spite of the puzzling implication that such winds lack axisymmetry. We argue that the radiation-driven wind in BZ Cam receives an initial boost by acting on gas that has been lifted above the disk by the interaction of the accretion stream with the disk, thereby imposing flickering timescales onto the wind events, as well as leading to an orbital modulation of the wind due to the non-axisymmetric nature of the stream/disk interaction. Simultaneous photometry and spectroscopy were acquired on three nights in order to test the possible connection between flickering continuum light and the strength of the front-side wind. We found strong agreement on one night, some agreement on another, and no agreement on the third. We suggest that some flickering events lead to only back-side winds which will not have associated P-Cygni profiles. © 2013. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.







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Astronomical Journal




© 2013 American Astronomical Society.

Honeycutt, R., Kafka, S., et al. 2013. "Wind Variability in BZ Camelopardalis." Astronomical Journal. 145(2). doi:10.1088/0004-6256/145/2/45