We carefully consider observational and theoretical constraints on the global properties of secondary stars in cataclysmic variable stars (CVs). We then use these constraints to construct and test a complete, semi-empirical donor sequence for CVs with orbital periods Porb≤ 6 h. All key physical and photometric parameters of CV secondaries (along with their spectral types) are given as a function of Porb along this sequence. This provides a benchmark for observational and theoretical studies of CV donors and evolution.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
- Pub Date:
- December 2006
- 21 pages, 10 figures, 4 tables, abridged abstract. New version implements the changes described in an Erratum. This only affects the predicted photometric properties of brown dwarf donors. A high-resolution version of the semi-empirical CV donor sequence is available from http://www.astro.soton.ac.uk/~christian/ (under "Research")