Discovering interacting binaries with Hα surveys
Parker, Q. A.
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. ©2005 American Institute of Physics