Context. On the basis of XMM-Newton observations, we investigate the energy balance of selected magnetic cataclysmic variables, which have shown an extreme soft-to-hard X-ray flux ratio in the ROSAT All-Sky Survey.
Aims: We intend to establish the X-ray properties of the system components, their flux contributions, and the accretion geometry of the X-ray soft polar QS Tel. In the context of high-resolution X-ray analyses of magnetic cataclysmic variables, this study will contribute to better understanding the accretion processes on magnetic white dwarfs.
Methods: During an intermediate high state of accretion of QS Tel, we have obtained 20 ks of XMM-Newton data, corresponding to more than two orbital periods, accompanied by simultaneous optical photometry and phase-resolved spectroscopy. We analyze the multi-wavelength spectra and light curves and compare them to former high- and low-state observations.
Results: Soft emission at energies below 2 keV dominates the X-ray light curves. The complex double-peaked maxima are disrupted by a sharp dip in the very soft energy range (0.1-0.5 keV), where the count rate abruptly drops to zero. The EPIC spectra are described by a minimally absorbed black body at 20 eV and two partially absorbed mekal plasma models with temperatures around 0.2 and 3 keV. The black-body-like component arises from one mainly active, soft X-ray bright accretion region nearly facing the mass donor. Parts of the plasma emission might be attributed to the second, virtually inactive pole. High soft-to-hard X-ray flux ratios and hardness ratios demonstrate that the high-energy emission of QS Tel is substantially dominated by its X-ray soft component.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- May 2011
- cataclysmic variables;
- stars: fundamental parameters;
- stars: individual: QS Telescopii;
- X-rays: binaries;
- accretion disks;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
- Accepted for publication in Astronomy and Astrophysics. 7 pages, 4 figures, 2 tables