Cataclysmic Variables in the First Year of the Zwicky Transient Facility

May 2020 • 2020AJ....159..198S

Authors • Szkody, Paula • Dicenzo, Brooke • Ho, Anna Y. Q. • Hillenbrand, Lynne A. • van Roestel, Jan • Ridder, Margaret • DeJesus Lima, Isabel • Graham, Melissa L. • Bellm, Eric C. • Burdge, Kevin • Kupfer, Thomas • Prince, Thomas A. • Masci, Frank J. • Mróz, Przemyslaw J. • Golkhou, V. Zach • Coughlin, Michael • Cunningham, Virginia A. • Dekany, Richard • Graham, Matthew J. • Hale, David • Kaplan, David • Kasliwal, Mansi M. • Miller, Adam A. • Neill, James D. • Patterson, Maria T. • Riddle, Reed • Smith, Roger • Soumagnac, Maayane T.

Abstract • 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.


IPAC Authors

Frank Masci

Senior Scientist