Indirect imaging of accretion disks in binaries

  • Keith Horne
  • T. R. Marsh
Accretion Disks
Part of the Lecture Notes in Physics book series (LNP, volume 266)


We review two indirect imaging techniques that are now being used to form spatially-resolved images of accretion disks in mass-transfer binaries, mainly the cataclysmic variable stars. The eclipse mapping method reconstructs the continuum brightness distribution on the surface of a disk from the shape of the light curve during eclipses of the disk by the secondary star. Doppler tomography uses emission line velocity profiles observed over the full range of binary phases to recover the line emissivity distribution in a 2-dimensional velocity space. The doppler tomogram may be interpreted directly in velocity space or transformed to a spatial image of the disk with the assumption of a Keplerian flow. We use the maximum entropy method with default level steering to adjust the disk images.


Light Curve Line Profile Accretion Disk Maximum Entropy Method Accretion Flow 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keith Horne
    • 1
  • T. R. Marsh
    • 2
  1. 1.Space Telescope Science InstituteBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Royal Greenwich ObservatoryHerstmonceaux CastleHailshamUK

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