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Discovered a new magnetic catastrophic variable

Astronomers have discovered a brand-new magnetic catastrophic variable by examining data from the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and Spektr-RG (SRG) satellite. The SRGE J075818-612027 new item most likely belongs to the polar subtype. The discovery was detailed in a manuscript that was posted on the pre-print service arXiv on February 26.

In binary star systems called cataclysmic variables (CVs), a white dwarf is accreting matter from a partner normal star. They erratically get significantly brighter before returning to a quiet condition. Polars are a subclass of cataclysmic variables that are distinguishable from other CVs by having white dwarfs with extremely potent magnetic fields.

Recently, a group of astronomers lead by Samet Ok of the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) in Germany used TESS and the eROSITA X-ray telescope of Spektr-RG to study observational data of the field of the open cluster NGC 2516. They consequently unintentionally came into a fresh Resume.

In their work, the researchers reported the accidental finding of SRGE J075818-612027, a deep stream-eclipsing magnetic cataclysmic variable that was discovered in SRG/eROSITA CalPV studies of the open cluster NGC 2516 as an unrelated X-ray source.

During the eROSITA Calibration and Performance Verification (CalPV) phase of observations, SRGE J075818-612027 was recognised as one of the field’s brightest X-ray objects. It was discovered to be an accretion-driven background object between 4,000 and 13,500 light-years away.

Further research of SRGE J075818-variability 612027’s revealed that it has a period of roughly 106 minutes. The hydrogen Balmer emission of this variable can be seen superimposed on a flat or slightly blue continuum in the low-resolution identification spectrum. These results corroborated the magnetic catastrophic nature of SRGE J075818-612027.

The X-ray spectra of SRGE J075818-612027, according to the study, is consistent with polar-typical single temperature thermal plasma emission at about 10 keV. The object also displays significant magnitude changes over extended periods at optical and X-ray wavelengths. Such actions could be seen as high and low states, which would reinforce the idea that they are polar.

The finding of SRGE J075818-612027, the authors of the report concluded, highlights the high sensitivity of the eROSITA telescope. Due to this and eROSITA’s improved scanning method, they were able to find SRGE J075818-612027 despite its great distance and fluctuating status between high and low. The researchers anticipate finding many more magnetic CVs with the use of this device.

“By conducting systematic follow-up observations of all point-like X-ray sources identified by the eRASS [eROSITA All-Sky Survey], it is possible that the eROSITA will discover a great number additional magnetic CVs. Because the duty of the polars may be as low as 50%, there is a particularly good possibility to locate those that escaped identification in the ROSAT all-sky survey while being in a low state at the time “Finally, the astronomers said.

Jonathan Williams
Jonathan Williams
Jonathan Williams is a staff writer who focuses on stories about science and space. He gives short, helpful summaries of what's new in these fields, such as technological advances, new discoveries and explorations, and updates on major space missions. His reporting is mostly about breaking down complicated scientific ideas and explaining them in a way that anyone can understand. Bushman's work helps keep people up to date on the latest developments in science and space. It also helps people learn more about and appreciate these important fields.

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