Ultraviolet continuum variability and visual flickering in the peculiar object MWC 560

A. G. Michalitsianos, M. Perez, S. N. Shore, S. P. Maran, M. Karovska, G. Sonneborn, J. R. Webb, Thomas G. Barnes, Marian L. Frueh, R. J. Oliversen, Sumner Starrfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


High-speed U-band photometry of the peculiar emission object MWC 560 obtained with the ground-based instrumentation, and V-band photometry obtained with the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE)-Fine Error Sensor (FES) indicates irregular brightness variations are quasi-periodic. Multiple peaks of relative brightness power indicate statistically significant quasi periods exist in a range of 3-35 minutes, that are superposed on slower hourly varying components. We present a preliminary model that explains the minute and hourly time-scale variations in MWC 560 in terms of a velocity-shear instability that arises because a white dwarf magnetosphere impinges on an accretion disk. We also find evidence for Fe II multiplet pseudo-continuum absorption opacity in far-UV spectra of CH Cygni which is also present in MWC 560. Both CH Cyg and MWC 560 may be in an evolutionary stage that is characterized by strong UV continuum opacity which changes significantly during outburst, occurring before they permanently enter the symbiotic nebular emission phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L53-L56
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 PART 2
StatePublished - Jun 1 1993


  • Stars: emission-line, Be
  • Stars: individual (MWC 560)
  • Techniques: photometric
  • Ultraviolet: stars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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