Non-radial pulsations have been identified in a number of accreting white dwarfs in cataclysmic variables. These stars offer insight into the excitation of pulsation modes in mixed H/He/Z atmospheres, and the response of these modes to changes in the white dwarf temperature. Among all pulsating cataclysmic variable white dwarfs, GW Lib stands out by having a well-established observational record of three independent pulsation modes that were wiped out during its 2007 outburst. We have obtained new HST ultraviolet observations in May 2013 that show an unexpected behaviour: besides some activity near the ∼280 s period that has been observed in the past, the white dwarf underwent a large-amplitude brightening. We demonstrate that the brightening is related to an increase of the photospheric temperature, argue against an accretion episode as explanation, and discuss this event in the context of non-radial pulsations on a rapidly rotating star.
19th European Workshop on White Dwarfs
- Pub Date:
- June 2015