Outburst behaviour in short period AM CVn systems
So-called AM CVn systems are the cataclysmic variables (CVs) with the shortest orbital periods, down to as short as 5 minutes. CVs in turn are binary systems consisting of a white dwarf accreting from a low mass companion. These systems are the white dwarf analogue of low-mass X-ray binaries, and exhibit much behaviour that is qualitatively similar, including accretion outbursts.
Armagh Observatory PhD student Chris Duffy used data from GOTO as well as several other sky surveys to examine the behaviour of a group of systems with basically identical orbital periods. Chris found that despite the common orbital periods, the outbursting behaviour was quite diverse, which has implications for the disk instability model thought to drive this behaviour.
Chris' paper was just accepted by MNRAS.
Read the paper (arXiv:2102.04428)