Discovering interacting binaries with Hα surveys

Andrew Witham*, Christian Knigge, Janet Drew, Paul Groot, Robert Greimel, Quentin Parker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution


A deep (R ∼ 19.5) photographic Hα Survey of the southern Galactic Plane was recently completed using the UK Schmidt Telescope at the AAO. In addition, we have recently started a similar, CCD-based survey of the northern Galactic Plane using the Wide Field Camera on the INT. Both surveys aim to provide information on many types of emission line objects, such as planetary nebulae, luminous blue variables and interacting binaries. Here, we focus specifically on the ability of Hα emission line surveys to discover cataclysmic variables (CVs). Follow-up observations have already begun, and we present initial spectra of a candidate CV discovered by these surveys. We also present results from analyzing the properties of known CVs in the Southern Survey. By calculating the recovery rate of these objects, we estimate the efficiency of Hα-based searches in finding CVs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInteracting binaries accretion, evolution, and outcomes American institue of physics conference proceedings
Place of PublicationWoodbury. NY
PublisherAmerican Institute of Physics
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)0735402868, 9780735402867
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2005
EventInteracting binaries: accretion, evolution, and outcomes - Cefalu, Sicily, Italy
Duration: 4 Jul 200410 Jul 2004


OtherInteracting binaries
CityCefalu, Sicily


  • Cataclysmic variables
  • Galactic surveys
  • Ha
  • Interacting binaries

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