Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

The Astronomical Journal


Department of Physics and Astronomy


The Catalina Real Time Survey (CRTS) has found over 500 cataclysmic variable (CV) candidates, most of which were previously unknown. We report here on follow-up spectroscopy of 36 of the brighter objects. Nearly all of the spectra are typical of CVs at minimum light. One object appears to be a flare star, while another has a spectrum consistent with a CV but lies, intriguingly, at the center of a small nebulosity. We measured orbital periods for eight of the CVs, and estimated distances for two based on the spectra of their secondary stars. In addition to the spectra, we obtained direct imaging for an overlapping sample of 37 objects, for which we give magnitudes and colors. Most of our new orbital periods are shortward of the so-called period gap from roughly 2 to 3 hr. By considering the cross-identifications between the Catalina objects and other catalogs such as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, we argue that a large number of CVs remain uncataloged. By comparing the CRTS sample to lists of previously known CVs that CRTS does not recover, we find that the CRTS is biased toward large outburst amplitudes (and hence shorter orbital periods). We speculate that this is a consequence of the survey cadence.



Original Citation

John R. Thorstensen and Julie N. Skinner 2012 AJ 144 81