WZ Sge

catalogues and names WZ Sge

data from Combined General Catalogue of Variable Stars (Vol. I-III) (Kholopov+ 1998)


position (J1950) RA: 20h 5min 21sec DEC: +17 33' 30'' 1 sec / 0.1 arcmin

variability informations:

variability type UGSU+E+ZZ cataclysmic (explosive and novalike) variables
close binary eclipsing system
pulsating variable star
magnitute at max. brightness 7
magnitute at min. brightness 15,53
photometric system
mean cycle time [d] 11900

spectral information

spectral class DAep(UG)


to a study Vol. III GCVS
to a chart/photograph Vol. II GCVS


ID in the GCVS catalogue 71/48
constellation Sculptor
notes on existence The star is equivalent to '0710049 XX'.
There are notes in published catalog.

variability type description

variability type description
UGSU U Geminorum-type variables, quite often called dwarf novae. They are close binary systems consisting of a dwarf or subgiant K-M star that fills the volume of its inner Roche lobe and a white dwarf surrounded by an accretion disk. Orbital periods are in the range 0.05-0.5 days. Usually only small, in some cases rapid, light fluctuations are observed, but from time to time the brightness of a system increases rapidly by several magnitudes and, after an
interval of from several days to a month or more, returns to the original state. Intervals between two consecutive outbursts for a given star may vary greatly, but every star is characterized by a certain mean value of these intervals, i.e., a mean cycle that corresponds to the mean light amplitude. The longer the cycle, the greater the amplitude. These systems are frequently sources of X-ray emission. The spectrum of a system at minimum is continuous, with broad H and He emission lines. At maximum these lines almost disappear or become shallow absorption lines. Some of these systems are eclipsing, possibly indicating that the primary minimum is caused by the eclipse of a hot spot that originates in the accretion disk from the infall of a gaseous stream from the K-M star. According to the characteristics of the light changes, U Gem variables may be subdivided into three types: SS Cyg, SU UMa, and Z Cam.

SS Cygni-type variables (SS Cyg, U Gem). They increase in brightness by 2-6 mag in V in 1-2 days and in several subsequent days return to their original brightnesses. The values of the cycle are in the range 10 days to several thousand;

SU Ursae Majoris-type variables. These are characterized by the presence of two types of outbursts called "normal" and "supermaxima". Normal, short outbursts are similar to those of UGSS stars, while supermaxima are brighter by 2 mag, are more than five times longer (wider), and occur several times less frequently. During supermaxima the light curves show superposed periodic
oscillations (superhumps), their periods being close to the orbital ones and amplitudes being about 0.2-0.3 mag in V. Orbital periods are shorter than 0.1 days; companions are of dM spectral type;

Z Camelopardalis-type stars. These also show cyclic outbursts, differing from UGSS variables by the fact that sometimes after an outburst they do not return to the original brightness, but during several cycles retain a magnitude between maximum and minimum. The values of cycles are from 10 to 40 days, while light amplitudes are from 2 to 5 mag in V.
E Eclipsing binary systems. These are binary systems with orbital planes so close to the observer's line of sight (the inclination i of the orbital plane to the plane orthogonal to the line of sight is close to 90 deg) that the components periodically eclipse each other.
Consequently, the observer finds changes of the apparent combined brightness of the system with the period coincident with that of the components' orbital motion.

Algol (Beta Persei)-type eclipsing systems. Binaries with spherical or slightly ellipsoidal components. It is possible to specify, for their light curves, the moments of the beginning and end of the eclipses. Between eclipses the light remains almost constant or varies insignificantly because of reflection effects, slight ellipsoidality of components, or physical variations. Secondary minima may be absent. An extremely wide range of periods is observed, from 0.2 to >= 10000 days. Light amplitudes are also quite different and may reach several magnitudes.

Beta Lyrae-type eclipsing systems. These are eclipsing systems having ellipsoidal components and light curves for which it is impossible to specify the exact times of onset and end of eclipses because of a continuous change of a system's apparent combined brightness between eclipses; secondary minimum is observed in all cases, its depth usually being considerably smaller than that of the primary minimum; periods are mainly longer than 1 day. The components
generally belong to early spectral types (B-A). Light amplitudes are usually <2 mag in V.

W Ursae Majoris-type eclipsing variables. These are eclipsers with periods shorter than 1 days, consisting of ellipsoidal components almost in contact and having light curves for which it is impossible to specify the exact times of onset and end of eclipses. The depths of the primary and secondary minima are almost equal or differ insignificantly. Light amplitudes are usually <0.8 mag in V. The components generally belong to spectral types F-G and later.
ZZ ZZ Ceti variables. These are nonradially pulsating white dwarfs that change their brightnesses with periods from 30 s to 25 min and amplitudes from 0.001 to 0.2 mag in V. They usually show several close period values. Flares of 1 mag are sometimes observed; however, these may be explained by the presence of close UV Ceti companions.

These variables are divided into the following subtypes:

ZZ Cet-type variables of DA spectral type (ZZ Cet) having only hydrogen absorption lines in their spectra;

ZZ Cet-type variables of DB spectral type having only helium absorption lines in their spectra.

ZZ Cet type variables of the DO spectral type showing HeII and and CIV absorbtion lines in their spectra.