Epoch J2000.0 Equinox J2000.0
|Right ascension||20h 40m 09.16206s|
|Declination||−00° 52′ 15.0618″|
|Apparent magnitude (V)||11.6|
|Spectral type||White dwarf + K4–5 V|
|B−V color index||−1.2|
|Variable type||DQ Her|
|Radial velocity (Rv)||−53 km/s|
|Proper motion (μ)||RA: +73.95 mas/yr
Dec.: +12.40 mas/yr
|Parallax (π)||11.61 ± 2.72 mas|
|Distance||approx. 280 ly
(approx. 90 pc)
|Absolute magnitude (MV)||~6.6|
|Period (P)||9.88 hours|
|Semi-major axis (a)||2.34 ± 0.02 R☉|
|Inclination (i)||70 ± 3°|
|Mass||0.63 ± 0.05 M☉|
|Mass||0.37 ± 0.04 M☉|
AE Aquarii is a cataclysmic variable binary star of the DQ Herculis type. Based upon parallax measurements, the system is located at a distance of about 280 light-years (86 parsecs) from the Earth. Because of its unique properties, this system has been subject to a number of scientific studies.
The AE Aquarii system consisting of an ordinary star in a close orbit around a magnetic white dwarf; the pair orbit each other with a period of 9.88 hours. The white dwarf primary has 63% of the Sun's mass but a radius of only about 1% of the Sun. As of 2009, it has the shortest known spin period of any white dwarf, completing a full revolution every 33.08 seconds. This spin is decreasing at a rate of 1.78 ns per year, which is unusually high. The secondary star has a stellar classification of K4-5 V, making it a main sequence star that is generating energy at its core through the thermonuclear fusion of hydrogen. It has about 37% of the Sun's mass but 79% of the Sun's radius.
This system displays flare activity that has been observed across multiple bands of the electromagnetic spectrum, including X-rays. Mass is being lost from the secondary star, most of which is being flung out of the system by the rapidly spinning magnetic primary. The X-ray luminosity is likely being caused by the accretion of mass onto the white dwarf, which is occurring at an estimated rate of about 7.3 × 1010 kg per second.
- van Leeuwen, F. (November 2007). "Validation of the new Hipparcos reduction". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 474 (2): 653–664. arXiv:. Bibcode:2007A&A...474..653V. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20078357.
- V* AE Aqr, database entry, SIMBAD. Accessed on line July 22, 2008.
- Mauche, Christopher W. (November 2009), "Chandra High-Energy Transmission Grating Spectrum of AE Aquarii", The Astrophysical Journal, 706 (1): 130–141, arXiv:, Bibcode:2009ApJ...706..130M, doi:10.1088/0004-637X/706/1/130
- Evans, D. S. (June 20–24, 1966), "The Revision of the General Catalogue of Radial Velocities", in Batten, Alan Henry; Heard, John Frederick, Determination of Radial Velocities and their Applications, Proceedings from IAU Symposium no. 30, University of Toronto: International Astronomical Union, Bibcode:1967IAUS...30...57E
- From apparent magnitude and parallax.
- Echevarría, J.; et al. (July 2008). "High-dispersion absorption-line spectroscopy of AE Aqr". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 387 (4): 1563–1574. arXiv:. Bibcode:2008MNRAS.387.1563E. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13248.x.
- Itoh, Kei; et al. (2005). "Density diagnostics of the hot plasma in AE Aquarii with XMM-NEWTON" (PDF). Proceedings of 'The X-ray Universe 2005', El Escorial, Madrid, Spain: 1–6. Bibcode:2006ApJ...639..397I. doi:10.1086/499152.
- Patterson, Joseph (December 15, 1979). "Rapid oscillations in cataclysmic variables. III. An oblique rotator in AE Aquarii". Astrophysical Journal. 234: 1–992. Bibcode:1979ApJ...234..978P. doi:10.1086/157582.