The asynchronous polar V1432 Aquilae and its path back to synchronism
David Boyd et al
12 Jun 2014
V1432 Aquilae is the only known eclipsing asynchronous polar. In this respect it is unique and therefore merits
our attention. We report the results of a 15-year campaign by the globally distributed Center for Backyard Astrophysics to observe V1432 Aql and investigate its return to synchronism. Originally knocked out of
synchrony by a nova explosion before observing records began, the magnetic white dwarf in V1432 Aql is
currently rotating slower than the orbital period but is gradually catching up. The fortuitously high inclination of
the binary orbit affords us the bonus of eclipses providing a regular clock against which these temporal changes
can be assessed. At the present rate, synchronism should be achieved around 2100. The continually changing trajectory of the accretion stream as it follows the magnetic field lines of the rotating white dwarf
produces a complex pattern of light emission which we have measured and documented, providing comprehensive
observational evidence against which physical models of the system can be tested.
Published in the Proceedings of the 33rd Annual
Conference of the Society for astronomical Sciences, p 163.