The Intriguing Nature of the Cataclysmic Variable SS Cygni

F. Giovannelli, L. Sabau-Graziati


The classification of SS Cyg as a dwarf nova (DN), a subclass of the non–magnetic (NM) cataclysmic variable (CV) has been considered by most of the community as well established because of a paper appeared in Nature (Bath & van Paradijs, 1983), which was a bandwagon for all the papers discussing SS Cyg behaviour both from experimental and theoretical points of view. This classification has been widely accepted until nowadays, in spite of the many arguments and circumstantial proofs about its possible intermediate polar nature, as claimed by Franco Giovannelli’s group for more than 25 years.The goal of this paper is to present an objective discussion of the problems connected with the controversial nature of SS Cyg, using all the different interpretations of its multifrequency data in order to demonstrate beyond doubt its intermediate polar nature.


cataclysmic variables; dwarf novae; intermediate polars; optical; spectroscopy; photometry; sub-mm; IR; radio; UV; X-rays; individual: SS Cyg ? BD+42? 4189a ? AAVSO 2138+43 ? 3A 2140+433 ? 1H 2140+433 ? INTEGRAL1 121 ? 1RXS J214242.6+433506

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ISSN 1210-2709 (Print)
ISSN 1805-2363 (Online)
Published by the Czech Technical University in Prague