SSS J122221.7-311525: the highly-evolved post period-minimum dwarf nova

A paper entitled “The remarkable outburst of the highly-evolved post period-minimum dwarf nova SSS J122221.7-311525” has been accepted for publication in MNRAS.
Preprint: ArXiv:1701.03134.

Neustroev V., et al.
We report extensive 3-yr multiwavelength observations of the WZ Sge-type dwarf nova SSS J122221.7-311525 during its unusual double superoutburst, the following decline and in quiescence. The second segment of the superoutburst had a long duration of 33 days and a very gentle decline with a rate of 0.02 mag/d, and it displayed an extended post-outburst decline lasting at least 500 days. Simultaneously with the start of the rapid fading from the superoutburst plateau, the system showed the appearance of a strong NIR excess resulting in very red colours, which reached extreme values (B-I~1.4) about 20 days later. The colours then became bluer again, but it took at least 250 days to acquire a stable level. Superhumps were clearly visible in the light curve from our very first time-resolved observations until at least 420 days after the rapid fading from the superoutburst. The spectroscopic and photometric data revealed an orbital period of 109.80 min and a fractional superhump period excess <0.8%, indicating a very low mass ratio q<0.045. With such a small mass ratio the donor mass should be below the hydrogen-burning minimum mass limit. The observed IR flux in quiescence is indeed much lower than is expected from a CV with a near-main sequence donor star. This strongly suggests a brown-dwarf-like nature for the donor and that SSS J122221.7-311525 has already evolved away from the period minimum towards longer periods, with the donor now extremely dim.

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