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Paper: What’s Cool About Hot Stars? Cataclysmic Variables in the Mid-Infrared
Volume: 404, The Eighth Pacific Rim Conference on Stellar Astrophysics: A Tribute to Kam Ching Leung
Page: 234
Authors: Hoard, D.W.; Kafka, S.; Wachter, S.; Howell, S.; Brinkworth, C.; Ciardi, D.
Abstract: We review recent results from mid-infrared observations of cataclysmic variables with the Spitzer Space Telescope. In general, these observations have revealed mid-infrared excesses, above the level expected from the stellar and accretion components, in numerous systems. This excess can be modeled as originating from circumstellar and/or circumbinary dust. We present an overview of spectral energy distributions spanning the ultraviolet to the mid-infrared, as well as mid-infrared light curves, of disk-accreting and magnetic cataclysmic variables. Physically realistic models constructed to reproduce these data indicate that the mid-infrared luminosity of many cataclysmic variables is dominated by emission from warm (T < 2000 K) dust. The presence and characteristics of dust in cataclysmic variables has potentially important implications for the secular evolution scenario for interacting binary stars.
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