SWSex Stars, Old Novae, and the Evolution of Cataclysmic Variables


  • L. Schmidtobreick European Southern Observatory, Casilla 19001, Santiago 19, Chile
  • C. Tappert Departamento de Fısica y Astronomıa, Universidad de Valparaıso, Avda. Gran Bretana 1112, Valparaıso, Chile




The population of cataclysmic variables with orbital periods right above the period gap are dominated by systems with extremely high mass transfer rates, the so-called SW Sextantis stars. On the other hand, some old novae in this period range which are expected to show high mass transfer rate instead show photometric and/or spectroscopic resemblance to low mass transfer systems like dwarf novae. We discuss them as candidates for so-called hibernating systems, CVs that changed their mass transfer behaviour due to a previously experienced nova outburst. This paper is designed to provide input for further research and discussion as the results as such are still very preliminary.