NICHOLS J.S., HENDEN A.A., HUENEMOERDER D.P., LAUER J.L., MARTIN E., MORGAN D.L. and SUNDHEIM B.A.
Abstract (from CDS):
Variable stars have been identified among the optical-wavelength light curves of guide stars used for pointing control of the Chandra X-ray Observatory. We present a catalog of these variable stars along with their light curves and ancillary data. Variability was detected to a lower limit of 0.02 mag amplitude in the 4000-10000 Å range using the photometrically stable Aspect Camera on board the Chandra spacecraft. The Chandra Variable Guide Star Catalog (VGUIDE) contains 827 stars, of which 586 are classified as definitely variable and 241 are identified as possibly variable. Of the 586 definite variable stars, we believe 319 are new variable star identifications. Types of variables in the catalog include eclipsing binaries, pulsating stars, and rotating stars. The variability was detected during the course of normal verification of each Chandra pointing and results from analysis of over 75,000 guide star light curves from the Chandra mission. The VGUIDE catalog represents data from only about 9 years of the Chandra mission. Future releases of VGUIDE will include newly identified variable guide stars as the mission proceeds. An important advantage of the use of space data to identify and analyze variable stars is the relatively long observations that are available. The Chandra orbit allows for observations up to 2 days in length. Also, guide stars were often used multiple times for Chandra observations, so many of the stars in the VGUIDE catalog have multiple light curves available from various times in the mission. The catalog is presented as both online data associated with this paper and as a public Web interface. Light curves with data at the instrumental time resolution of about 2 s, overplotted with the data binned at 1 ks, can be viewed on the public Web interface and downloaded for further analysis. VGUIDE is a unique project using data collected during the mission that would otherwise be ignored. The stars available for use as Chandra guide stars are generally 6-11 mag and are commonly spectral types A and later. Due to the selection of guide stars entirely for positional convenience, this catalog avoids the possible bias of searching for variability in objects where it is to be expected. Statistics of variability compared to spectral type indicate the expected dominance of A-F stars as pulsators. Eclipsing binaries are consistently 20%-30% of the detected variables across all spectral types.
catalogs - methods: observational - space vehicles: instruments - stars: statistics - stars: variables: general