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CV observations 2007 CV observations 2006 CV observations 2005 CV observations 2004 CV observations 2003 CV observations 2002 CV observations 2001







Powerful software for Variable Star Light Curve Analysis, offering a variety of period analysis methods www.peranso.com



Cataclysmic Variables

More than half of the stars in our Galaxy are not single stars like our Sun, but occur in binary or multiple systems. If two stars come close enough together without actually colliding, they may "capture" each other and become gravitationally bound.

One type of binary that might form this way is a "cataclysmic variable" (CV), a pairing of a normal, hydrogen-burning star and a burned-out star called a white dwarf. The white dwarf will pull material off the surface of the normal star. This material encircles the white dwarf in an "accretion disk," and eventually falls onto it. 
The result of this accretion process is that CVs are, as the name suggests, variable in brightness. 

Artist view of a cataclysmic variable. Artist Credit: Dana Berry

I'm studying, through time-series CCD photometry, this particularly interesting group of variable stars, as an active member of the Center for Backyard Astrophysics, headed by Columbia University professor Joe Patterson. I find CVs intriguing, because they provide a unique laboratory for the study of two fundamental astrophysical processes: accretion and binary star evolution.

Important observations made in 2008


24 Jan 2008 - Detection of superhumps in OT_J084555.1+033930    

Observations prior to 2008

Use the navigation bar (upper left) for an overview of my cataclysmic variable star observations prior to 2008.


I'm author and co-author of an extensive set of articles on cataclysmic variables. 



Copyright 2008 - Tonny Vanmunster. All rights reserved