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High temperature plasma inβ Lyrae, observed fromCopernicus

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High-resolution ultraviolet spectrophotometry of the complex close binary systemβ Lyrae was performed with the Princeton Telescope Spectrometer onCopernicus. Observations were made at phases 0.0, 0.25, 0.5, and 0.75 with the resolution of 0.2 Å (far-ultraviolet) and 0.4 Å (mid-ultraviolet). The far-ultraviolet spectrum is completely dominated by emission lines indicating existence of high temperature plasma in this binary. The spectrum ofthis object is unlike any other object observed fromCopernicus. It is believed that this high temperature plasma results from dynamic mass transfer taking place in this binary. The current results are compared with the OAO-2 Wisconsin Experiment Package observations and other observational results. The possibility that the secondary component is a collapsed object is also discussed; theCopernicus observations are consistent with the hypothesis that the spectroscopically invisible secondary component is a black hole.

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Guest Investigator with the Princeton University Telescope on theCopernicus satellite, which is sponsored and operated by National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

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Kondo, Y., Hack, M., Hutchings, J.B. et al. High temperature plasma inβ Lyrae, observed fromCopernicus . Astrophys Space Sci 38, 353–358 (1975). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00647134

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  • Black Hole
  • Mass Transfer
  • Spectrophotometry
  • Current Result
  • Emission Line