Two newly identified magnetic cataclysmic variables discovered in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), SDSS J155331.12+551614.5 and SDSS J132411.57+032050.5, have spectra showing highly prominent, narrow, strongly polarized cyclotron humps with amplitudes that vary on orbital periods of 4.39 and 2.6 hr, respectively. In the former, the spacing of the humps indicates the third and fourth harmonics in a magnetic field of ∼60 MG. The narrowness of the cyclotron features and the lack of strong emission lines imply very low temperature plasmas and very low accretion rates, so that the accreting area is heated by particle collisions rather than accretion shocks. The detection of rare systems like these exemplifies the ability of the SDSS to find the lowest accretion rate close binaries.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science
- Novae, cataclysmic variables