AAVSO: American Association of Variable Star Observers

The Asynchronous Polar V1432 Aquilae and Its Path Back to Synchronism (Abstract)

Volume 42 number 2 (2014)

David Boyd
CBA (Oxford), 5 Silver Lane, West Challow, Wantage, OX12 9TX, England; davidboyd@orion.me.uk
Joseph Patterson
Department of Astronomy, Columbia University, 550 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027; jop@astro.columbia.edu
William Allen
CBA (Blenheim), Vintage Lane Observatory, 83 Vintage Lane, RD3, Blenheim 7273, New Zealand
Greg Bolt
CBA (Perth), 295 Camberwarra Drive, Craigie, Western Australia 6025, Australia
Michel Bonnardeau
Le Pavillon, 38930 Lalley, France
Tut Campbell
CBA (Arkansas), Whispering Pine Observatories, 7021 Whispering Pine Road, Harrison, AR 72601
Jeannie Campbell
CBA (Arkansas), Whispering Pine Observatories, 7021 Whispering Pine Road, Harrison, AR 72601
David Cejudo
CBA (Madrid), Observatorio El Gallinero, El Berrueco, Madrid, Spain
Michael Cook
CBA (Ontario), Newcastle Observatory, 9 Laking Drive, Newcastle, ON L1B 1M5, Canada
Enrique de Miguel
CBA (Huelva), Observatoria Astronomico del CIECM, Parque Dunar MatalascaƱas, 21760 Almonte, Huelva, Spain
Claire Ding
Department of Astronomy, Columbia University, 550 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027
Shawn Dvorak
CBA (Orlando), 1643 Nightfall Drive, Clermont, FL 34711
Jerrold L. Foote
CBA (Utah), 4175 E. Red Cliffs Drive, Kanab, UT 84741
Robert Fried
Deceased 2003, formerly at Braeside Observatory, Flagstaff, AZ 86002
Franz-Josef Hambsch
CBA (Mol), Oude Bleken 12, B-2400, Mol, Belgium
Jonathan Kemp
Department of Physics, Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT 05753
Thomas Krajci
CBA (New Mexico), P.O. Box 1351, Cloudcroft, NM 88317
Berto Monard
CBA (Pretoria), P.O. Box 281, Calitzdorp 6661, Western Cape, South Africa
Yemal Ogmen
CBA (Cyprus), Green Island Observatory, Gecitkale, North Cyprus
Robert Rea
CBA (Nelson), Regent Lane Observatory, 8 Regent Lane, Richmond, Nelson 7020, New Zealand
George Roberts
CBA (Tennessee), 2007 Cedarmont Drive, Franklin, TN 37067
David Skillman
CBA (Mountain Meadows), 6-G Ridge Road, Greenbelt, MD 20770
Donn Starkey
CBA (Indiana), 2507 CR 60, Auburn, IN 46706
Joseph Ulowetz
CBA (Illinois), 855 Fair Lane, Northbrook, IL 60062
Helena Uthas
Department of Astronomy, Columbia University, 550 W 120th Street, New York, NY 10027
Stan Walker
CBA (Waiharara), Wharemaru Observatory, P.O. Box 173, Awanui, 0451, New Zealand

Abstract

(Abstract only) V1432 Aquilae is the only known eclipsing asynchronous polar. In this respect it is unique and therefore merits our attention. We report the results of a 15-year campaign by the globally distributed Center for Backyard Astrophysics to observe V1432 Aql and investigate its return to synchronism. Originally knocked out of synchrony by a nova explosion before observing records began, the magnetic white dwarf in V1432 Aql is currently rotating slower than the orbital period but is gradually catching up. The fortuitously high inclination of the binary orbit affords us the bonus of eclipses, providing a regular clock against which these temporal changes can be assessed. At the present rate, synchronism should be achieved around 2100. The continually changing trajectory of the accretion stream as it follows the magnetic field lines of the rotating white dwarf produces a complex pattern of light emission which we have measured and documented, providing comprehensive observational evidence against which physical models of the system can be tested.