EXOSAT light curve of AM Her
AM Her displays a strong variable soft X-ray flux in this EXOSAT observation which is anticorrelated with the hard (higher temperature) X-rays. The eclipse of the soft X-rays for a large fraction of the 3.1 hour binary cycle is due to the occultation of the X-ray emitting pole cap by the white dwarf star itself. The hard X-rays are produced by a shock within the accretion column and are only modulated when the column cuts across our line of sight.
Diagrams courtesy of Julian Osborne, EXOSAT Observatory, taken from Figure 10-4a in Charles and Seward.
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Last modified: Thursday, 26-Jun-2003 13:48:44 EDT