Relatively little is known about the infrared (IR) properties of cataclysmic variables (CVs). Key components of CVs such as the cool outer disk, accretion stream, and, especially, the elusive secondary star are all expected to radiate strongly at wavelengths longer than the optical. Fortunately, advances in IR detector technology have recently made this region of the spectrum much more accessible. The Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) is an ongoing project with the goal of imaging the entire sky down to completeness limits of J=15.8, H=15.1, and K=14.3 mag. We present a preliminary look at IR properties of the 25 CVs included in the 1999 Spring Incremental Data Release from the 2MASS Survey. We construct IR color-magnitude and color-color diagrams for these CVs; where available, we compare the 2MASS magnitudes with IR magnitudes from the literature. Finally, we demonstrate the potential need for IR finding charts for use in future IR observations of CVs in cases where the IR sky looks very different from the optical sky. Following the scheduled 1999 Fall/Winter Incremental Data Release (which will include an improved version of the 1999 Spring Incremental Data Release as well as 7--8 times more additional data), we will compile an IR atlas of CVs, including IR finding charts and analysis of group properties. This research was supported in part by a Flinn Foundation Scholarship awarded to T. Bowers, and makes use of data products from the Two Micron All Sky Survey, which is a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts
- Pub Date:
- December 1999