Updates to VSX - RR Lyraes and Exoplanets

American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO)
Wed, 04/29/2015 - 04:10

Hi all,
The number of VSX records increased by more than 8,400 this week with the inclusion of a list of RRAB-type variables discovered by the Catalina Survey.
The process of importing these huge lists has its risks.

We try everything we can to add high quality data but we have to compromise. We can't check the stars one by one and we have to "trust" the published lists.

However, while working with this list, I could find the following before importing it.

Even when they gave a list of cross-identifications with known variables, there were 438 objects that were already in VSX but not cross-identified in this publication.

There were a couple of mistakes with the identifications:

SSS_J103443.3-283124 was listed at 11 35 03.17 -24 40 16.4, it was actually SSS_J113503.2-244016.
SSS_J130729.7-130837 was listed at 10 33 04.68 -28 54 58.1, it was actually SSS_J103304.7-285457

V2256 Sgr was 24" away from the GCVS position so I revised it and we have now the correct coordinates (the GCVS position was wrong).

There are almost 50 cases when an already known ASAS RR Lyrae of suspiciously low amplitude turned out to be a typical RR Lyrae with a close companion blended in the ASAS-3 light curve. I am still working with these ones individually, identifying them, correcting the identification and the ranges.

Some cases of misclassifications:

SSS_J091750.5-151433 was classified as an RRAB with a period of 0.66385 d. but it is a red star, an SRB variable with a period of 92.8 d.

V0371 Cen is not an RRAB but an eclipsing binary.

SSS_J071246.6-401355 is an EW not an RRAB.

SSS_J143218.6-404914 and SSS_J143218.1-404915 were both V0527 Cen.

After these checkings, we ended up adding 8,430 new RR Lyrae stars and revising elements, positions and identifiers for almost 2,100 additional objects.


A next step, probably tomorrow, will be the addition of 131 transiting exoplanets to VSX. Actually, 131 stars showing planetary transits (variability type EP).

I spent several weeks making this list with data from different sources (Exoplanets.org, NASA Exoplanet Archive, The Exoplanet Encyclopaedia, AXA).
Only EPs with published amplitudes larger than 0.001 mag. are going to be included.
There were a lot of stars (from the total list of over 1,200) with no published amplitudes in the above sources so all those planets were not included.

If you find some missing EP that should be in VSX, submit it yourself ;)

Over the next weeks I will finish adding some that were already in VSX as other types: BY or EA. Some were in fact BY and also EP, some were EA and also EP (amazing systems!) and some were not actually eclipsing binaries but EPs.
Some of these are multiplanetary systems.
Among the already added, there were a lot of these ones too. One has 7 transiting planets! (KIC 11442793)

So it was a busy week regarding updates.

The process of updating VSX takes a lot of time and it would be great if we could use some help from some of our members.
In the upcoming weeks we'll make a call for volunteers to help us in these and other VSX tasks.
I am writing some documentation and preparing some website to make it easier for those of you interested.