Astrophysics (Index)About

cataclysmic variable star

(CV, cataclysmic variable)
(star whose magnitude is much brighter on occasion)

A cataclysmic variable star (CV or cataclysmic variable) is a variable star that irregularly grows in magnitude by a large factor, the extra brightness lasting for some time and subsiding. These events of temporary brightening are termed novae. The mechanism creating these events is a white dwarf accreting matter from a companion to the point that fusion is ignited, but is sustained only temporarily.

(star type,variable,transient type)
Further reading:

Referenced by pages:
dwarf nova (DN)
line tomography
rare designator prefixes
variable star