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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