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CVCAT - Cataclysmic Variables Catalog (2006 Final Edition)

HEASARC
Archive

Overview

This catalog contains data for a large number of objects that have been classified as cataclysmic variables (CVs) as well as a smaller number of objects that are now not considered to be cataclysmic variables, but were originally classified erroneously as such. As of 2000 December, 40% of the objects in this catalog were dwarf novae, with another 30% being novae, and the rest being mostly nova-like variables; also as of this date, a large fraction (90%) of the CVs had references to published finding charts, while 64% of the objects had published spectra.

The catalog includes coordinates measured in the reference frame of the Hubble Space Telescope Guide Star Survey for non-novae and from the literature for novae. Also given are the variability type, the magnitude range, orbital periods, flags indicating the existence of relevant space-based observational datsets, references to finding charts and spectroscopy, the galactic latitude and longitude, and the year of outburst (for novae). This edition also includes plate identification information for the coordinate measurements, and a reference to the classification.

The Catalog and Atlas of Cataclysmic Variables (Downes et al. in 2001, PASP, 113, 764 and http://archive.stsci.edu/prepds/cvcat/) presented here is the ASCII Report mentioned in Section 2.1 of the PASP paper, and is similar to the previously published versions of the CV Catalog (e.g., Downes, Webbink and Shara 1997, PASP, 109, 345, Table 1). The online version of the CV Catalog at http://archive.stsci.edu/prepds/cvcat/ contains additional data on these systems not included in this database, including finding charts. For a complete authoritative and up-to-date description of the CV Catalog, refer to http://archive.stsci.edu/prepds/cvcat/description.html, from which the HEASARC has constructed this help file.


Catalog Bibcode

2001PASP..113..764D

References

The Catalog and Atlas of CVs: Archival Edition, Downes et al. 2001,
PASP, 113, 764 and Downes et al. 2006, http://archive.stsci.edu/prepds/cvcat/

The Catalog and Atlas of CVs: The Second Edition, Downes, Webbink and Shara
1997, PASP, 109, 345

The Catalog and Atlas of CVs: The First Edition, Downes and Shara 1993,
PASP, 105, 127

Provenance

This HEASARC version of the CV Catalog was last updated in February 2006.

Parameters

Name
The name of the object derived from the prefix 'CV J'and the object's J2000 equatorial coordinates, using the standard IAU nomenclature system, for all objects that the authors consider to be CVs, or from the prefix 'J' and the J2000 equatorial coordinates, for all non-CVs. This parameter was created by the HEASARC in order to have a unique `name' for each object in the catalog.

RA
The Right Ascension of the object. For non-novae, this is derived from the J2000 coordinates of the object as measured in the Space Telescope Guide Star reference frame. The right ascension is given to the nearest 0.01 seconds, while the declination is given to the nearest 0.1 arcseconds; for objects that are very faint or not visible, the coordinates are given to a lesser accuracy. The accuracy of the Guide Star Catalog is 0.4 arcseconds in the north, and 0.6 arcseconds in the south (Taff et al. 1990, ApJL, 353, L45). For the novae, the coordinates are taken from Duerbeck (1987, SSRv, 45, 1) or from the literature (for recent novae). For those objects without available/usable finding charts, coordinates have been obtained from the literature, and are generally given to a lesser accuracy than those objects measured in this work. For more information about the source for the position of any particular object, look at the value of the parameter Ref_Coord for that entry: this is a code for the reference from which the position was obtained. The key to these reference codes listing their corresponding bibliographical references can be found at http://archive.stsci.edu/prepds/cvcat/References/references.html

Dec
The Declination of the object. For non-novae, this is derived from the J2000 coordinates of the object as measured in the Space Telescope Guide Star reference frame. The right ascension is given to the nearest 0.01 seconds, while the declination is given to the nearest 0.1 arcseconds; for objects that are very faint or not visible, the coordinates are given to a lesser accuracy. The accuracy of the Guide Star Catalog is 0.4 arcseconds in the north, and 0.6 arcseconds in the south (Taff et al. 1990, ApJL, 353, L45). For the novae, the coordinates are taken from Duerbeck (1987, SSRv, 45, 1) or from the literature (for recent novae). For those objects without available/usable finding charts, coordinates have been obtained from the literature, and are generally given to a lesser accuracy than those objects measured in this work. For more information about the source for the position of any particular object, look at the value of the parameter Ref_Coord for that entry: this is a code for the reference from which the position was obtained. The key to these reference codes listing their corresponding bibliographical references can be found at http://archive.stsci.edu/prepds/cvcat/References/references.html

LII
The Galactic Longitude of the object.

BII
The Galactic Latitude of the object.

PM_RA
The proper motion in Right Ascension, in arcseconds/year.

PM_RA_Error
The error in the Right Ascension proper motion, in arcseconds/year.

PM_Dec
The proper motion in Declination, in arcseconds/year.

PM_Dec_Error
The error in the Declination proper motion, in arcseconds/year.

Epoch
The epoch of the position coordinates.

GCVS_Name
The name of the object in the General Catalogue of Variable Stars (GCVS) and subsequent Namelists (67th, Kholopov et al. 1985, IBVS, 2681; 68th, Kholopov et al. 1987, IBVS, 3058; 69th, Kholopov et al. 1989, IBVS, 3323; 70th, Kazarovets and Samus 1990, IBVS, 3530; 71st, Kazarovets, Samus, and Goranskij 1993, IBVS, 3840; 72nd, Kazarovets and Samus 1995, IBVS, 4140; 73rd, Kazarovets and Samus 1997, IBVS, 4471; 74th, Kazarovets et al. 1999, IBVS, 4659; 75th, Kazarovets et al. 2000, IBVS, 4870; 76th, Kazarovets et al. 2001, IBVS, 5135). For those objects without variable star designations in the 1st CV Edition, the authors introduced a pseudo-GCVS name for certain objects, e.g., Phe 1, which was continued in the 2nd Edition. With the Web-based catalog (formerly the "Living Edition", now the "Archival Edition"), the authors felt that this was no longer necessary, and so have ceased to generate new ones. For those objects that already had such names and now have a formal GCVS designation, the latter is listed here, and the pseudo-GCVS name is listed in the alt_name field.

Var_Type
The type of variability of the object. The Variability Types Table below lists the various types used in this work, which are based on the classification scheme used in the GCVS. Some types are taken directly from the GCVS (those in upper-case letters), while those in lower-case letters have been obtained from the literature (they are generally in agreement with the GCVS, and are presumably more secure); whenever possible, a type from the literature was used. There are many objects in the catalog, designated NON-CV, which are stars that have been previously cataloged as CVs, and are included for completeness; the references for these stars are those papers which refute the CV nature of the objects. The revised classifications are defined as follows:

      Type     Definition
      ----     -----------------------------------------------------------
      UG       U Gem variable (dwarf nova)
      UGZ      U Gem variable (Z Cam subtype)
      UGSS     U Gem variable (SS Cyg subtype)
      UGSU     U Gem variable (SU UMa subtype)
      UGWZ     U Gem variable (WZ Sge subtype)

      N        Nova
      NA       Fast nova
      NB       Slow nova
      NC       Very slow nova
      NR       Recurrent nova
      NRA      Recurrent nova - giant donor (Webbink et al. 1987, ApJ, 314, 653)
      NRB      Recurrent nova - non-giant donor (Webbink et al. 1987, ibid.)
      SN       Possible supernova with no galaxy visible

      NL       Novalike variable
      NLV      Novalike variable (V Sge subtype; Steiner & Diaz
                                                 1998, PASP, 110, 276)
      UX       Novalike variable (UX UMa subtype)
      VY       Novalike variable (VY Scl subtype - systems which undergo
                                                   low states)
      AM       AM Herculis variable (synchronous rotators)
      DQ       DQ Herculis variable (non-synchronous rotators)
      CV       Cataclysmic variable (no type classification)

      IBWD     Interacting binary white dwarf

      M        Mira variable
      I        Irregular variable
      UV       UV Ceti-type star
      Z AND    Symbiotic variable (Z And subtype)
      NON-CV   Not a cataclysmic variable (although once classified as such)
      NON-EX   Non-existent object

      PEC      Peculiar
      :        Uncertain
      ::       Very uncertain
  

Period
The orbital period, in days, of the object.

Period_Flag
A flag that indicates the period is uncertain.

Nova_Year
The year of the outburst (for objects that are novae).

Cluster_Flag
A flag which is set to 'Y' if the object is in a globular cluster.

Max_Mag_Limit
The symbol '<' (less than) is used to indicate that the quoted value of Max_Mag is an upper limit, i.e., the actual Max_Mag could have been brighter than this. Notice that, in the online CV Catalog at the STScI website, the opposite convention is used, i.e., there the symbol '>' (more than) is used to stand for 'brighter than'.

Max_Mag
The maximum observed apparent magnitude for the object, in the magnitude system specified by the parameter max_mag_system. For novae, the primary source for the magnitudes is Duerbeck (1987, SSRv, 45, 1) and Duerbeck (2001, private communication), while for the non-novae the catalog of Ritter and Kolb (1998, A&AS, 129, 83) is the prime source. When no other references to brightness were available, the GCVS values were used.

Max_Mag_System
The photometric system in which the maximum magnitude (Max_Mag) was measured. The abbreviations are defined as follows:

      Magnitude    Definition
      ---------    -------------------------------------------------------
          U        Johnson U
          B        Johnson B
          V        Johnson V
          R        Johnson R
          I        Johnson I
          c        unfiltered CCD
          f        m(2200)
          g        Gunn g
          h        Hipparcos magnitude system
          i        Gunn i
          j        SRC j (unfiltered IIIa-J)
          p        photographic
          r        red
          s        Sloan g*
          u        m(1400)
          v        visual
          w        m(3000)
  

Min_Mag_Limit
The symbol '>' (greater than) is used to indicate that the quoted value of Min_Mag is a lower limit, i.e., the actual Min_Mag could have been fainter than this. Notice that, in the online CV Catalog at the STScI website, the opposite convention is used, i.e., there the symbol '<' (less than) is used to stand for 'fainter than'.

Min_Mag
The minimum observed apparent magnitude for the object, in the magnitude system specified by the parameter min_mag_sys. For novae, the primary source for the magnitudes is Duerbeck (1987, SSRv, 45, 1) and Duerbeck (2001, private communication), while for the non-novae the catalog of Ritter and Kolb (1998, A&AS, 129, 83) is the prime source. When no other references to brightness were available, the GCVS values were used.

Min_Mag_System
The photometric system in which the minimum magnitude (Min_Mag) was measured. The abbreviations are defined as follows:

      Magnitude    Definition
      ---------    -------------------------------------------------------
          U        Johnson U
          B        Johnson B
          V        Johnson V
          R        Johnson R
          I        Johnson I
          c        unfiltered CCD
          f        m(2200)
          g        Gunn g
          h        Hipparcos magnitude system
          i        Gunn i
          j        SRC j (unfiltered IIIa-J)
          p        photographic
          r        red
          s        Sloan g*
          u        m(1400)
          v        visual
          w        m(3000)
  

Ref_Coord
A code for the reference to the coordinates. Entries consisting of the letter C followed by a four-character code correspond to plate-IDs from the Hubble Space Telescope Guide Star survey; other codes refer to references from the literature, and the key to these reference codes listing their corresponding bibliographical references can be found at http://archive.stsci.edu/prepds/cvcat/References/references.html

Ref_Coord_Flag
If this flag is set to `Y' (changed from an asterisk in the STScI version), this means that there is a comment regarding the coordinate measurement in the Notes Section on the Webpage for that object in the STScI Online Catalog. The Notes Section can be found at http://archive.stsci.edu/prepds/cvcat/ASCII_Notes_Report.html

Ref_PM
A code for the reference from which the proper motion values were obtained. The key to these reference codes listing their corresponding bibliographical references can be found at http://archive.stsci.edu/prepds/cvcat/References/references.html

Ref_PM_Flag
If this flag is set to `Y' (changed from an asterisk in the STScI version), this means that there is a comment regarding the proper motion in the Notes Section on the Webpage for that object in the STScI Online Catalog. To see this comment, see the Notes Section, which can be found at http://archive.stsci.edu/prepds/cvcat/ASCII_Notes_Report.html

Ref_Var_Type
A code for the reference from which the variability type Var_type (aka the CV classification) was obtained. The key to these reference codes listing their corresponding bibliographical references can be found at http://archive.stsci.edu/prepds/cvcat/References/references.html

Ref_Var_Type_Flag
If this flag is set to `Y' (changed from an asterisk in the STScI version), this means that there is a comment regarding the classification in the Notes Section on the Webpage for that object in the STScI Online Catalog. To see this comment, see the Notes Section, which can be found at http://archive.stsci.edu/prepds/cvcat/ASCII_Notes_Report.html

Ref_Chart
A code for the original reference from which the finding chart is based. Note that the identifications of the CVs were based on the published charts (or in some cases coordinates only), and have not been independently verified by the authors of the catalog. The key to these reference codes listing their corresponding bibliographical references can be found at http://archive.stsci.edu/prepds/cvcat/References/references.html

Ref_Chart_Flag
If this flag is set to `Y' (changed from an asterisk in the STScI version), this means that there is a comment regarding the identification in the STScI Online Catalog. To see this comment, see the Notes Section, which can be found at http://archive.stsci.edu/prepds/cvcat/ASCII_Notes_Report.html

Ref_Spectrum
A code for the reference to the published spectrum. A prefix of S indicates a spectrum in quiescence, while a prefix of X indicates a spectrum in outburst. Whenever available, the quiescent spectrum was chosen for the catalog over an outburst spectrum. The key to these reference codes listing their corresponding bibliographical references can be found at http://archive.stsci.edu/prepds/cvcat/References/references.html

Ref_Spectrum_Flag
If this flag contains a colon (:), this indicates that in the reference to the published spectrum specified by the parameter Ref_Spectrum either (i) the spectrum is only described, (ii) the spectrum is a glass plate tracing, or (iii) the reference is unconfirmed (only for a few novae in Duerbeck's atlas. If this flag is set to `Y' (changed from an asterisk in the STScI version), this means that there is a comment regarding the spectrum in the STScI Online Catalog. To see this comment, see the Notes Section, which can be found at http://archive.stsci.edu/prepds/cvcat/ASCII_Notes_Report.html

Ref_Period
A code for a reference to the period of the object. The key to these reference codes listing their corresponding bibliographical references can be found at http://archive.stsci.edu/prepds/cvcat/References/references.html Note that all periods come from either the catalog of Ritter and Kolb (1998, A&AS, 129, 83) or from Ritter (private communication).

Alt_Name
A discovery or common alternative (non-GCVS) designation for the object. For those objects without variable star designations in the 1st CV Edition, the authors introduced a pseudo-GCVS name for certain objects, e.g., Phe 1, which was continued in the 2nd Edition. With the Web-based catalog (formerly the "Living Edition", now the "Archival Edition"), the authors felt that this was no longer necessary, and so have ceased to generate new ones. For those objects that already had such names and now have a formal GCVS designation, the former is listed here, and the GCVS name is listed in the gcvs_name field.

IUE_Flag
Cataclysmic variables have been observed by space-based observatories for many years, particularly by X-ray missions. The authors searched the HEASARC Archives for observations of CVs made by X-ray satellites (Ariel-5, HEAO-1, HEAO-2 = Einstein Observatory, EXOSAT, Ginga, ROSAT and ASCA) and the EUVE satellite, and the IUE/HST Archives for imaging/spectroscopy of CVs; for ongoing missions, their search contains observations in the archives as of June 2001. A 'Y' in this field means that data for this object from the particular satellite exist.

HST_Flag
Cataclysmic variables have been observed by space-based observatories for many years, particularly by X-ray missions. The authors searched the HEASARC Archives for observations of CVs made by X-ray satellites (Ariel-5, HEAO-1, HEAO-2 = Einstein Observatory, EXOSAT, Ginga, ROSAT and ASCA) and the EUVE satellite, and the IUE/HST Archives for imaging/spectroscopy of CVs; for ongoing missions, their search contains observations in the archives as of June 2001. A 'Y' in this field means that data for this object from the particular satellite exist. For HST data, the notes for the object indicate if the data is imaging, spectroscopic, photometric, and/or astrometric. To see such comments, refer to the Notes Section, which can be found at http://archive.stsci.edu/prepds/cvcat/ASCII_Notes_Report.html

Ariel5_Flag
See the help text for the IUE_Flag parameter above.

HEAO1_Flag
See the help text for the IUE_Flag parameter above.

HEAO2_Flag
See the help text for the IUE_Flag parameter above.

EXOSAT_Flag
See the help text for the IUE_Flag parameter above.

ROSAT_Flag
See the help text for the IUE_Flag parameter above.

Ginga_Flag
See the help text for the IUE_Flag parameter above.

ASCA_Flag
See the help text for the IUE_Flag parameter above.

EUVE_Flag
See the help text for the IUE_Flag parameter above.

Class
The Browse Object Classification code. This classification is based on the CV classification given in the parameter Var_Type.


Contact Person

Questions regarding the CVCAT database table can be addressed to the HEASARC User Hotline.

Page Author: Browse Software Development Team
Last Modified: 28-Aug-2012