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Year 1 of the ZTF high-cadence Galactic plane survey: strategy, goals, and early results on new single-mode hot subdwarf B-star pulsatos

Kupfer, Thomas and Prince, Thomas A. and van Roestel, Jan and Bellm, Eric C. and Bildsten, Lars and Coughlin, Michael W. and Drake, Andrew J. and Graham, Matthew J. and Klein, Courtney and Kulkarni, Shrinivas R. and Masci, Frank J. and Walters, Richard and Andreoni, Igor and Biswas, Rahul and Bradshaw, Corey and Duev, Dmitry A. and Dekany, Richard and Guidry, Joseph A. and Hermes, J. J. and Laher, Russ R. and Riddle, Reed (2021) Year 1 of the ZTF high-cadence Galactic plane survey: strategy, goals, and early results on new single-mode hot subdwarf B-star pulsatos. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 505 (1). pp. 1254-1267. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1093/mnras/stab1344.

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We present the goals, strategy, and first results of the high-cadence Galactic plane survey using the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF). The goal of the survey is to unveil the Galactic population of short-period variable stars, including short-period binaries, and stellar pulsators with periods less than a few hours. Between 2018 June and 2019 January, we observed 64 ZTF fields resulting in 2990 deg² of high stellar density in the ZTF-r band along the Galactic plane. Each field was observed continuously for 1.5 to 6 h with a cadence of 40 sec. Most fields have between 200 and 400 observations obtained over 2–3  continuous nights. As part of this survey, we extract a total of ≈230 million individual objects with at least 80 epochs obtained during the high-cadence Galactic plane survey reaching an average depth of ZTF–r ≈ 20.5 mag. For four selected fields with 2–10 million individual objects per field, we calculate different variability statistics and find that ≈1–2  per cent of the objects are astrophysically variable over the observed period. We present a progress report on recent discoveries, including a new class of compact pulsators, the first members of a new class of Roche lobe filling hot subdwarf binaries as well as new ultracompact double white dwarfs and flaring stars. Finally, we present a sample of 12 new single-mode hot subdwarf B-star pulsators with pulsation amplitudes between ZTF–r = 20–76 mmag and pulsation periods between P = 5.8–16 min with a strong cluster of systems with periods ≈6 min. All of the data have now been released in either ZTF Data Release 3 or Data Release 4.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ItemDiscussion Paper ItemIRSA database
Kupfer, Thomas0000-0002-6540-1484
Prince, Thomas A.0000-0002-8850-3627
van Roestel, Jan0000-0002-2626-2872
Bellm, Eric C.0000-0001-8018-5348
Coughlin, Michael W.0000-0002-8262-2924
Graham, Matthew J.0000-0002-3168-0139
Klein, Courtney0000-0002-2762-4046
Kulkarni, Shrinivas R.0000-0001-5390-8563
Masci, Frank J.0000-0002-8532-9395
Walters, Richard0000-0002-1835-6078
Andreoni, Igor0000-0002-8977-1498
Biswas, Rahul0000-0002-5741-7195
Duev, Dmitry A.0000-0001-5060-8733
Dekany, Richard0000-0002-5884-7867
Hermes, J. J.0000-0001-5941-2286
Laher, Russ R.0000-0003-2451-5482
Riddle, Reed0000-0002-0387-370X
Additional Information:© 2021 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model ( Accepted 2021 May 5. Received 2021 May 5; in original form 2021 January 14. Published: 12 May 2021. We thank the anonymous referee for their helpful comments and review of the manuscript. Based on observations obtained with the Samuel Oschin Telescope 48-inch and the 60-inch Telescope at the Palomar Observatory as part of the Zwicky Transient Facility project. ZTF is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. AST-1440341 and a collaboration including Caltech, IPAC, the Weizmann Institute for Science, the Oskar Klein Center at Stockholm University, the University of Maryland, the University of Washington, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron and Humboldt University, Los Alamos National Laboratories, the TANGO Consortium of Taiwan, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories. Operations are conducted by COO, IPAC, and UW. This research was funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation through Grant GBMF5076. This research was supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. NSF PHY-1748958. MWC acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation with grant number PHY-2010970. This work has made use of data from the European Space Agency (ESA) mission Gaia (, processed by the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC, Funding for the DPAC has been provided by national institutions, in particular, the institutions participating in the Gaia Multilateral Agreement. Data Availability: All the observational data used in this paper are publicly available at the IRSA data base and can be accessed here:
Group:Astronomy Department, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC), Zwicky Transient Facility
Funding AgencyGrant Number
ZTF partner institutionsUNSPECIFIED
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationGBMF5076
Gaia Multilateral AgreementUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:surveys – binaries (including multiple): close – stars: oscillations (including pulsations) – white dwarfs
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210520-150011495
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Thomas Kupfer, Thomas A Prince, Jan van Roestel, Eric C Bellm, Lars Bildsten, Michael W Coughlin, Andrew J Drake, Matthew J Graham, Courtney Klein, Shrinivas R Kulkarni, Frank J Masci, Richard Walters, Igor Andreoni, Rahul Biswas, Corey Bradshaw, Dmitry A Duev, Richard Dekany, Joseph A Guidry, J J Hermes, Russ R Laher, Reed Riddle, Year 1 of the ZTF high-cadence Galactic plane survey: strategy, goals, and early results on new single-mode hot subdwarf B-star pulsatos, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 505, Issue 1, July 2021, Pages 1254–1267,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:109224
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:24 May 2021 17:44
Last Modified:26 Jul 2021 22:23

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