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Published May 2020 | Published + Submitted
Journal Article Open

Cataclysmic Variables in the First Year of the Zwicky Transient Facility


Using selection criteria based on amplitude, time, and color, we have identified 329 objects as known or candidate cataclysmic variables (CVs) during the first year of testing and operation of the Zwicky Transient Facility. Of these, 90 are previously confirmed CVs, 218 are strong candidates based on the shape and color of their light curves obtained during 3–562 days of observation, and the remaining 21 are possible CVs but with too few data points to be listed as good candidates. Almost half of the strong candidates are within 10 deg of the galactic plane, in contrast to most other large surveys that have avoided crowded fields. The available Gaia parallaxes are consistent with sampling the low mass transfer CVs, as predicted by population models. Our follow-up spectra have confirmed Balmer/helium emission lines in 27 objects, with four showing high-excitation He ii emission, including candidates for an AM CVn, a polar, and an intermediate polar. Our results demonstrate that a complete survey of the Galactic plane is needed to accomplish an accurate determination of the number of CVs existing in the Milky Way.

Additional Information

© 2020 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2019 December 10; revised 2020 February 4; accepted 2020 February 16; published 2020 April 10. P.S. and B.D. acknowledge funding from NSF grant AST-1514737. A.Y.Q.H. is supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under grant No. DGE-1144469. M.C. is supported by the David and Ellen Lee Prize Postdoctoral Fellowship at the California Institute of Technology. M.L.G. acknowledges support from the DIRAC Institute in the Department of Astronomy at the University of Washington. The DIRAC Institute is supported through generous gifts from the Charles and Lisa Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences, and the Washington Research Foundation. We would like to thank occasional observers on the UW APO ZTF follow-up team, including Brigitta Sipőcz, James Davenport, Daniela Huppenkothen, Dino Bektešević Gwendolyn Eadie, and Bryce T. Bolin. The authors thank the Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur for support. This work was supported by the GROWTH project funded by the National Science Foundation under PIRE grant No. 1545949. 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. Z.T.F. is supported by the NSF under grant 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 The SED Machine is based upon work supported by NSF under grant 1106171. Some observations were made with the Apache Point 3.5 m telescope, which is owned and operated by the Astrophysical Research Corporation. The Liverpool Telescope is operated on the island of La Palma by Liverpool John Moores University in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias with financial support from the UK Science and Technology Facilities Council. The William Herschel Telescope is operated on the island of La Palma by the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes in the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias. Facilities: APO:3.5m - , Hale - , ING:Herschel - , Keck:I - , Liverpool:2m - , PO:1.2m - , PO:1.5m - . Note added in proof: F. Romanov (2020, private communication) reported that ZTF0117+58 has a spectrum in Verbeek et al. (2012), and thus merits being in Table 1 rather than Table 2.

Attached Files

Published - Szkody_2020_AJ_159_198.pdf

Submitted - 2002.08447.pdf


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