AAS 198th Meeting, June 2001
Session 5. Ground Based Instruments and Surveys
Display, Monday, June 4, 2001, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[5.13] The Faint Sky Variability Survey: Searching for Low-Luminosity Cataclysmic Variables and Very Low-Mass Dwarfs

M. E. Huber, S. B. Howell (Astrophysics Group, PSI)

The Faint Sky Variability Survey is a large, deep field, optical, photometric survey using the Wide-Field Camera at the Isaac Newton Telescope on La Palma. Approximately 15 square degrees have been observed photometrically in BVI colors with variability sampling of 10s of minutes to a year. In line with two of the design goals, we are actively searching the photometry datasets for low-luminosity cataclysmic variables and very low-mass dwarfs. Cataclysmic variables are selected by color and variability, a unique parameter for a large survey and to very deep limits of V~24 mags. The large area coverage and faintness limits provide a significant volume sample in order to locate the intrinsically faint population of cataclysmic variables predicted to be the dominant population by interacting binary evolutionary theory. Very low-mass dwarfs are identified by very red V-I color and astrometry obtained with the following year re-observation of the sources. For sources detected in V, variability information is known and rapid variability on rotational timescales or long duration variability can be identified. We will present and discuss the current results in the search for elusive low-luminosity cataclysmic variables and variable, very low-mass dwarfs using the FSVS datasets including the selection process and follow-up observations.

MEH acknowledges support from by a NASA/Space Grant Fellowship, NASA Grant #NGT-40008.

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