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

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Authors
Ramsay, Gavin
Hakala, Pasi
Barclay, Thomas
Wheatley, Peter
Marshall, George
Lehto, Harry
Napiwotzki, Ralf
Nelemans, Gijs
Potter, Stephen
Todd, Ian
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Abstract
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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 timescale of ~20 mins. 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 mins. 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.
Comment: Accepted for publication in MNRAS
Keywords
Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena, Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
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