1000 cataclysmic variables from the Catalina Real-time Transient Survey

Breedt, E.; Gänsicke, B. T.; Drake, A. J.; Rodríguez-Gil, P.; Parsons, S. G.; Marsh, T. R.; Szkody, P.; Schreiber, M. R.; Djorgovski, S. G.
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Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 443, Issue 4, p.3174-3207

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Over six years of operation, the Catalina Real-time Transient Survey (CRTS) has identified 1043 cataclysmic variable (CV) candidates - the largest sample of CVs from a single survey to date. Here, we provide spectroscopic identification of 85 systems fainter than g ≥ 19, including three AM Canum Venaticorum binaries, one helium-enriched CV, one polar and one new eclipsing CV. We analyse the outburst properties of the full sample and show that it contains a large fraction of low-accretion-rate CVs with long outburst recurrence times. We argue that most of the high-accretion-rate dwarf novae in the survey footprint have already been found and that future CRTS discoveries will be mostly low-accretion-rate systems. We find that CVs with white-dwarf-dominated spectra have significantly fewer outbursts in their CRTS light curves compared to disc-dominated CVs, reflecting the difference in their accretion rates. Comparing the CRTS sample to other samples of CVs, we estimate the overall external completeness to be 23.6 per cent, but show that as much as 56 per cent of CVs have variability amplitudes that are too small to be selected using the transient selection criteria employed by current ground-based surveys. The full table of CRTS CVs, including their outburst and spectroscopic properties examined in this paper, is provided in the online materials.
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