The Ballad of EF Eridani

There've been strange things done to this former sun by the nearby white dwarf star.
The twisted yield of the magnetic field draws in matter from afar.
The CV crowd would gasp aloud if they could ever see
The very queer magnetosphere of EF Eridani.

It's not quite dead, the spectra said, though the Hydrogen lines are weak
But they swerve and they bend and the velocity tends to imply a binary beat.
The near-infrared leads one instead to see that the donor is small
And the hydrogen plumes ought to consume the secondary in no time at all

It continues today to perplex 'bout the way that the wind interacts with such passion.
Still it brightens some nights, at least at first sight, in a transient and tremulous fashion.
When it increases its light and the X-rays get bright you may think that it's gonna stay high,
So you contact the team and push on with your scheme but in 2 months its gone from the sky.

There've been strange things done to this former sun by the nearby white dwarf star.
The twisted yield of the magnetic field draws in matter from afar.
The CV crowd would gasp aloud if they could ever see
The very queer magnetosphere of EF Eridani.

Presented at "Wild Stars in the Old West II", Tucson AZ, 18 March 2009