Cataclysmic variables from the sloan digital sky survey. I. The first results

Paula Szkody, Scott F. Anderson, Marcel Agüeros, Ricardo Covarrubias, Misty Bentz, Suzanne Hawley, Bruce Margon, Wolfgang Voges, Arne Henden, Gillian R. Knapp, Daniel E. Vanden Berk, Armin Rest, Gajus Miknaitis, Eugene Magnier, J. Brinkmann, I. Csabai, M. Harvanek, R. Hindsley, G. Hennessy, Z. IvezicS. J. Kleinman, D. Q. Lamb, D. Long, P. R. Newman, E. H. Neilsen, R. C. Nichol, A. Nitta, D. P. Schneider, S. A. Snedden, D. G. York

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The commissioning year of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) has demonstrated that many cataclysmic variables (CVs) have been missed in previous surveys with brighter limits. We report the identification of 22 CVs, of which 19 are new discoveries and three are known systems (SW UMa, BH Lyn, and OU Vir). A compendium of positions, colors, and characteristics of these systems obtained from the SDSS photometry and spectroscopy is presented, along with data obtained during follow-up studies with the Apache Point Observatory and Manastash Ridge Observatory telescopes. We have determined orbital periods for three of the new systems, two show dwarf nova outbursts, and the third is a likely magnetic system with eclipses of its region of line emission. Based on these results, we expect the completed survey to locate at least 400 new CVs. Most of these will be faint systems with low accretion rates that will provide new constraints on binary evolution models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)430-442
Number of pages13
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number1 1753
StatePublished - Jan 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Novae, cataclysmic variables
  • Techniques: photometric
  • Techniques: spectroscopic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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