Searching for Diamagnetic Blob Accretion in the 74 day K2 Observation of V2400 Ophiuchi

Andrew Langford, Colin Littlefield, Peter Garnavich, Mark R. Kennedy, Simone Scaringi, Paula Szkody

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1 Scopus citations


Since its discovery in 1995, V2400 Ophiuchi (V2400 Oph) has stood apart from most known intermediate polar cataclysmic variables due to its proposed magnetic field strength (9-27 MG) and diskless accretion. To date, the exact accretion mechanism of the system is still unknown, and standard accretion models fail to accurately predict the peculiar behavior of its light curve. We present the K2 Campaign 11 light curve of V2400 Oph recording 74.19 days of photometric data cadenced at 1 minute. The light curve is dominated by aperiodic flickering and quasiperiodic oscillations, which make the beat and spin signals inconspicuous on short timescales. Notably, a log-log full power spectrum shows a break frequency at ∼102 cycles d-1 similar to some disk-fed systems. Through power-spectral analysis, the beat and spin periods are measured as 1003.4 0.2 s and 927.7 0.1 s, respectively. A power spectrum of the entire K2 observation demonstrates beat period dominance. However, time-resolved power spectra reveal a strong dependence between observation length and the dominant frequency of the light curve. For short observations (2-12 hr) the beat, spin, or first beat harmonic can be observed as the dominant periodic signal. Such incoherence and variability indicate a dynamical accretion system more complex than current intermediate polar theories can explain. We propose that a diamagnetic blob accretion model may serve as a plausible explanation for the accretion mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


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