A Dwarf Nova in the Globular Cluster M13

Fraser Lewis, M. Servillat, N.A. Webb, C. Knigge, M. Van Den Berg, A. Dieball, J. Grindlay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dwarf novae (DNe) in globular clusters (GCs) seem to be rare with only 13 detections in the 157 known Galactic GCs. We report the identification of a new DN in M13, the 14th DN identified in a GC to date. Using the 2 m Faulkes Telescope North, we conducted a search for stars in M13 that show variability over a year (2005-2006) on timescales of days and months. This led to the detection of one DN showing several outbursts. A Chandra X-raysource is coincident with this DN and shows both a spectrum and variability consistent with that expected from a DN, thus supporting the identification.We searched for a counterpart in Hubble Space Telescope Advanced Camera for Surveys/Wide Field Camera archived images and found at least 11 candidates, of which we could characterize only the 7 brightest, including one with a 3σ Hα excess and a faint blue star. The detection of one DN when more could have been expected likely indicates that our knowledge of the global Galactic population of cataclysmic variables is too limited. The proportion of DNe may be lower than found in catalogs, or they may have a much smaller mean duty cycle (∼1%) as proposed by some population synthesis models and recent observations in thefield.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 12
Number of pages11
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Issue number106
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2011


  • globular clusters
  • individual (m13, ngc 6205) - novae
  • cataclysmic variables - stars
  • dwarf novae - x-rays
  • general


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