Cataclysmic variables

1   4. Cataclysmic (Explosive and Novalike) Variables

1.1  Definition

These are variable stars showing outbursts caused by thermonuclear burst processes in their surface layers (novae) or deep in their interiors (supernovae). We use the term "novalike" for variables that show novalike outbursts caused by rapid energy release in the surrounding space (UG-type stars - see below) and also for objects not displaying outbursts but resembling explosive variables at minimum light by their spectral (or other) characteristics. The majority of explosive and novalike variables are close binary systems, their components having strong mutual influence on the evolution of each star. It is often observed that the hot dwarf component of the system is surrounded by an accretion disk formed by matter lost by the other, cooler, and more extended component. This category is subdivided into the following types:

1.2  4.1 - Novae

1.3  4.2 - Novalike variables

1.4  4.3 - Recurrent novae

1.5  4.4 - Supernovae

1.6  4.5 - UG variables

1.7  4.6 - ZAnd-type (symbiotic) variables

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