The masses of the cataclysmic variables AC Cancri and V363 Aurigae

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Thoroughgood, T.D. ; Dhillon, V.S. ; Watson, Christopher ; Buckley, D.A.H. ; Steeghs, D. ; Stevenson, M.J. (2004)

We present time-resolved spectroscopy and photometry of the double-lined eclipsing cataclysmic variables AC Cnc and V363 Aur (=Lanning 10). There is evidence of irradiation on the inner hemisphere of the secondary star in both systems, which we correct for using a model that reproduces the observations remarkably well. We find the radial velocity of the secondary star in AC Cnc to be K-R=176+/-3 km s(-1) and its rotational velocity to be v sin i=135+/-3 km s(-1). From these parameters we obtain masses of M-1=0.76+/-0.03 M-circle dot for the white-dwarf primary and M-2=0.77+/-0.05 M-circle dot for the K2+/-1 V secondary star, giving a mass ratio of q=1.02+/-0.04. We measure the radial and rotational velocities of the G7+/-2V secondary star in V363 Aur to be K-R=168+/-5 km s(-1) and v sin i=143+/-5 km s(-1), respectively. The component masses of V363 Aur are M-1=0.90+/-0.06M(circle dot) and M-2=1.06+/-0.11 M-circle dot giving a mass ratio of q=1.17+/-0.07. The mass ratios for AC Cnc and V363 Aur fall within the theoretical limits for dynamically and thermally stable mass transfer. Both systems are similar to the SW Sex stars, exhibiting single-peaked emission lines with transient absorption features, high-velocity S-wave components and phase-offsets in their radial-velocity curves. The Balmer lines in V363 Aur show a rapid increase in flux around phase 0 followed by a rapid decrease, which we attribute to the eclipse of an optically thick region at the centre of the disc. This model could also account for the behaviour of other SW Sex stars where the Balmer lines show only a shallow eclipse compared to the continuum.
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