Q Cyg: outflow from a long period old nova

Astronomy and Astrophysics – Astronomy

Scientific paper

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Scientific paper

Time-resolved spectroscopy of Q Cyg (Nova Cygni 1876) allows the determination of the orbital period of the system, confirming that it is among the longer period cataclysmic variables (CVs). Orbital changes in the spectral features of the system, in addition to unexpected P-Cygni profiles in the He I and Hα lines, are also presented. Such profiles, which are observed in the resonance UV spectral lines of some CVs indicating mass loss via strong winds, have not previously been reported to appear in the visible spectrum of an old nova. The implications of these outflow patterns are discussed in the context of the nature of old novae and nova-like CVs.

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