University of Leicester
stw1238.pdf (2.02 MB)

The reproducible radio outbursts of SS Cygni

Download (2.02 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 2019-06-17, 10:46 authored by TD Russell, JCA Miller-Jones, GR Sivakoff, D Altamirano, TJ O'Brien, KL Page, MR Templeton, EG Kording, C Knigge, MP Rupen, RP Fender, S Heinz, D Maitra, S Markoff, S Migliari, RA Remillard, DM Russell, CL Sarazin, EO Waagen
We present the results of our intensive radio observing campaign of the dwarf nova SS Cyg during its 2010 April outburst. We argue that the observed radio emission was produced by synchrotron emission from a transient radio jet. Comparing the radio light curves from previous and subsequent outbursts of this system (including high-resolution observations from outbursts in 2011 and 2012) shows that the typical long and short outbursts of this system exhibit reproducible radio outbursts that do not vary significantly between outbursts, which is consistent with the similarity of the observed optical, ultraviolet and X-ray light curves. Contemporaneous optical and X-ray observations show that the radio emission appears to have been triggered at the same time as the initial X-ray flare, which occurs as disc material first reaches the boundary layer. This raises the possibility that the boundary region may be involved in jet production in accreting white dwarf systems. Our high spatial resolution monitoring shows that the compact jet remained active throughout the outburst with no radio quenching.


This research was supported under the Australian Research Council's Discovery Projects funding scheme (project number DP 120102393). We acknowledge the AAVSO network of variable star observers for providing the optical light curves of SS Cyg. JCAM-J is the recipient of an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship (FT140101082). GRS acknowledges funding from an NSERC Discovery Grant. DA acknowledges support from the Royal Society. KLP acknowledges support from the UK Space Agency. This work was supported by the Spanish Ministerio de Economá y Competitividad (MINECO) under grant AYA2013-47447-C3-1-P (SM). This work has made use of NASA's Astrophysics Data System. This research made use of APLpy, an open-source plotting package for PYTHON hosted at The International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research is a joint venture between Curtin University and the University of Western Australia, funded by the state government of Western Australia and the joint venture partners. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. The Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope is operated by the ASTRON (Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy) with support from the Netherlands Foundation for Scientific Research (NWO). The European VLBI Network is a joint facility of independent European, African, Asian and North American radio astronomy institutes. This research has made use of data and/or software provided by the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC), which is a service of the Astrophysics Science Division at NASA/GSFC and the High Energy Astrophysics Division of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.



Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2016, 460(4), pp. 3720–3732

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING/Department of Physics and Astronomy


  • VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society


Oxford University Press (OUP), Royal Astronomical Society





Acceptance date


Copyright date


Available date


Publisher version