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Searching for Variable Stars in Globular Cluster Messier 15

Presentation #109.04 in the session Cataclysmic Variables, Novae, Symbiotic Stars and White Dwarfs.

Published onJul 01, 2023
Searching for Variable Stars in Globular Cluster Messier 15

The globular cluster Messier 15 is known for its high incidence of variable star systems, yet contains only two known dwarf nova candidates. The SWIFT telescope has produced a wealth of archival ultraviolet images, where short wavelength-bright dwarf nova eruptions should be detectable. This study reports on a thorough investigation of unsearched SWIFT telescope images of M15, testing whether we can fill in a gap in our understanding of variables in this cluster. I searched 10 epochs of SWIFT telescope images for variables by coding a pipeline to create difference images to track variable stars over time. I used patterns made by variable stars during subtraction to identify and produce a catalog of 169 variable star candidates to be compared with data of known transients in M15. I am now reducing this list to identify which stars are and are not yet discovered. This study marks the first SWIFT ultraviolet search for dwarf novae in M15, and builds a pipeline to efficiently search SWIFT data of any globular cluster for dwarf novae.

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