Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society vol:407 issue:3 pages:1903-1912
We present high-speed spectroscopic observations of the intermediate polar (IP) DQ Herculis. Doppler tomography of two He I lines reveals a spiral density structure in the accretion disc around the white dwarf (WD) primary. The spirals look very similar to the spirals seen in dwarf novae during outburst. DQ Her is the first well-established IP in which spirals are seen, which are in addition likely persistent because of the system's high mass transfer rate. Spiral structures give an alternative explanation for sidebands of the WD spin frequency that are found in IP light curves. The Doppler tomogram of He II lambda 4686 indicates that a large part of the emission is not disc-like.