Fr.: nova naine
A class of → novae and → cataclysmic variables that have multiple observed → eruptions. Their prototype is → U Geminorum star. Optically, dwarf nova eruptions have amplitudes of 2-6 mag in V, a duration of a few to 20 days and a recurrence time-scale of weeks to years. Dwarf novae are thought to be → semidetached binary stars consisting of a → white dwarf → primary accreting via → Roche lobe overflow from a → companion which is usually a → late-type, generally → main-sequence star. DN outbursts are usually attributed to the release of gravitational energy resulting from an → instability in the → accretion disk or by sudden mass transfers through the disk.