QZ Serpentis: A Dwarf Nova with a 2 Hour Orbital Period and an Anomalously Hot, Bright Secondary Star

John R. Thorstensen, William H. Fenton, Joseph Patterson, Jonathan Kemp, Jules Halpern, Isabelle Baraffe
2002 Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific  
We present spectroscopy and time-series photometry of the dwarf nova QZ Ser. The spectrum shows a rich absorption line spectrum of type K4 +- 2. K-type secondary stars are generally seen in dwarf novae with orbital periods P-orb around 6 h, but in QZ Ser the absorption radial velocities show an obvious modulation (semi-amplitude 207(5) km/s) at P-orb = 119.752(2) min, much shorter than typical for such a relatively warm and prominent secondary spectrum. The H-alpha emission-line velocity is
more » ... lated at the same period and roughly opposite phase. Time-series photometry shows flickering superposed on a modulation with two humps per orbit, consistent with ellipsoidal variation of the secondary's light. QZ Ser is a second example of a relatively short-period dwarf nova with a surprisingly warm secondary. Model calculations suggest that the secondary is strongly enhanced in helium, and had already undergone significant nuclear evolution when mass transfer began. Several sodium absorption features in the secondary spectrum are unusually strong, which may indicate that the present-day surface was the site of CNO-cycle hydrogen burning in the past.
doi:10.1086/342513 fatcat:nrg34oytw5hurana4dyl5s46mi