The catalina surveys periodic variable star catalog

A. J. Drake, M. J. Graham, S. G. Djorgovski, M. Catelan, A. A. Mahabal, G. Torrealba, D. García-Álvarez, C. Donalek, J. L. Prieto, R. Williams, S. Larson, E. Christen Sen, V. Belokurov, S. E. Koposov, E. Beshore, A. Boattini, A. Gibbs, R. Hill, R. Kowalski, J. JohnsonF. Shelly

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

350 Scopus citations


We present ∼47,000 periodic variables found during the analysis of 5.4 million variable star candidates within a 20,000 deg2 region covered by the Catalina Surveys Data Release-1 (CSDR1). Combining these variables with type ab RR Lyrae from our previous work, we produce an online catalog containing periods, amplitudes, and classifications for ∼61,000 periodic variables. By cross-matching these variables with those from prior surveys, we find that >90% of the ∼8000 known periodic variables in the survey region are recovered. For these sources, we find excellent agreement between our catalog and prior values of luminosity, period, and amplitude as well as classification. We investigate the rate of confusion between objects classified as contact binaries and type c RR Lyrae (RRc's) based on periods, colors, amplitudes, metallicities, radial velocities, and surface gravities. We find that no more than a few percent of the variables in these classes are misidentified. By deriving distances for this clean sample of ∼5500 RRc's, we trace the path of the Sagittarius tidal streams within the Galactic halo. Selecting 146 outer-halo RRc's with SDSS radial velocities, we confirm the presence of a coherent halo structure that is inconsistent with current N-body simulations of the Sagittarius tidal stream. We also find numerous long-period variables that are very likely associated within the Sagittarius tidal stream system. Based on the examination of 31,000 contact binary light curves we find evidence for two subgroups exhibiting irregular light curves. One subgroup presents significant variations in mean brightness that are likely due to chromospheric activity. The other subgroup shows stable modulations over more than a thousand days and thereby provides evidence that the O'Connell effect is not due to stellar spots.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2014


  • Galaxy: halo
  • Galaxy: stellar content
  • Galaxy: structure
  • catalogs
  • stars: variables: general
  • techniques: photometric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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  • Catalina Surveys periodic variable stars

    Drake, A. J. (Creator), Graham, M. J. (Creator), Djorgovski, S. G. (Creator), Catelan, M. (Creator), Mahabal, A. A. (Creator), Torrealba, G. (Creator), García-Álvarez, D. (Contributor), Donalek, C. (Creator), Prieto, J. L. (Creator), Williams, R. (Creator), Larson, S. (Creator), Christen Sen, S. E. (Contributor), Belokurov, V. (Creator), Koposov, S. E. (Creator), Beshore, E. (Creator), Boattini, A. (Creator), Gibbs, A. (Creator), Hill, R. (Creator), Kowalski, R. (Creator), Johnson, J. (Creator), Shelly, F. (Creator), Drake, A. J. (Creator), Graham, M. J. (Creator), Prieto, J. L. (Creator), Larson, S. (Creator) & Hill, R. (Creator), Centre de Donnees Strasbourg (CDS), 2014


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