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ATEL # 1418; Djorgovski, S.G., (Caltech), Bond, H. (STSci), Hennawi, J. (LBL/UCB), Drake, A., Williams, R., Mahabal, A., Glikman, E., Donalek, C., Graham, M. (Caltech), Beshore, E., Larson, S. (LPL/UAz), Christensen, E. (Gemini Obs.)
on 7 Mar 2008; 2:00 UT
Distributed as an Instant Email Notice (Nova)
Password Certification: S. George Djorgovski (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Subjects: Cataclysmic Variables, Nova, Transients
We interpret the spectrum of the bright transient from the Catalina Sky Survey, CSS080304:090240+052500 (Djorgovski et al., ATEL #1411) as a high-amplitude cataclysmic variable outburst, possibly of the WZ Sge type. The spectrum shows a high excitation level, as indicated by the ratio of the He and H lines, and the double emission lines are likely caused by an accretion disk viewed at high inclination. We note that the sharp central absorptions at H-alpha and H-beta are deeper than the continuum level.
This is consistent with the photometric follow-up observations and interpretation by a number of authors (H. Maehara, T. Kato, A. Arai, U. Umemura, and others) reported in VSNET mailing list (vsnet-alert numbers 9945, 9948, 9949, 9950, 9951, 9955; the archive is available at http://ooruri.kusastro.kyoto-u.ac.jp/pipermail/vsnet-alert/2008-March/). This includes a detection of superhumps with an amplitude of ~0.5 mag and a period of ~0.057 days (U. Umemura, A. Arai, and the KANATA Team, vsnet-alert 9955).
Further spectroscopic and photometric monitoring is encouraged.
Finding charts and other data for this transient