Theoretical spectra of the AM Canum Venaticorum binary system SDSS J0926+3624: Effects of irradiation onto the donor star

Sujan Sengupta*, Ronald E. Taam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Taking into account a range of parameters determined from evolutionary models and available observational data, the detailed non-LTE spectrum for the primary star and the irradiated donor star in the AM Canum Venaticorum system SDSS J0926+3624 are constructed based on the TLUSTY stellar atmosphere code. The combined spectrum of the primary and the donor stars along with a multicolor blackbody spectrum of the accretion disk that reproduces a detailed numerical model is compared to the Sloan Digital Sky Survey optical spectrum of the system. The photometric flux of the primary star inferred from eclipse observations is compared with the synthetic spectrum. The model fit of the two independent observations provides an upper limit on the distance of the system for different effective temperatures of the primary. In addition, an upper limit on the combined flux of the disk and the donor in the infrared region wherein the contribution of the primary is negligible is also determined. It is shown that the spectrum of a sufficiently cool donor can exhibit emission lines due to irradiation from a hot primary and the emission features should be detectable in the infrared even though the contribution of the flux from the disk dominates. Thus, it is pointed out that infrared observations of the system would provide important information on the thermal state of the donor as well as useful insight into the thermal properties of the primary star and the accretion disk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number34
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 20 2011


  • binaries: close
  • binaries: eclipsing
  • stars: atmospheres
  • stars: low-mass
  • white dwarfs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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