GCVSEGVARS - General Catalog of Variable Stars (GCVS4.2): Extragalactic Variables
The General Catalog of Variable Stars (GCVS) is the only reference
source on all known variable stars. This database is based on the
electronically-readable version as distributed by the Sternberg Astronomical
Institute and Institute of Astronomy (Russian Acad. Sci.), Moscow. It is
the catalog of extragalactic variable stars, an updated version of the list
contained in the GCVS (4th edition), Volume V. The total number of entries
in this database is 10979 variable stars in 35 stellar systems (including the
Magellanic Clouds, the Andromeda Galaxy, etc.). These variables include 144
stars now considered to be non-members of the galaxies in whose fields they
lie, and 92 more stars that are possible non-members.
The present improved electronic version of the GCVS 4th Edition, Volumes I-V,
combined with the Name-Lists of Variable Stars Nos. 67 - 77, is also
available from the Sternberg Institute via anonymous ftp to
ftp://ftp.sai.msu.su/pub/groups/cluster/gcvs/gcvs/ and more information
is available via the Web at http://www.sai.msu.su/groups/cluster/gcvs/gcvs/ .
General Catalogue of Variable Stars, 4th ed., vol. V.
Extragalactic Variable Stars
Artiukhina N.M., Durlevich O.V., Frolov M.S., Goranskij V.P.,
Gorynya N.A., Karitskaya E.A., Kazarovets E.V., Kholopov P.N.,
Kireeva N.N., Kurochkin N.E., Lipunova N.A., Medvedeva G.I.,
Pastukhova E.N., Samus N.N., Tsvetkova T.M.
<"Kosmosinform", Moscow, (1995)>
This online version of the GCVS Vol. V Catalog of Extragalactic
Variable Stars was created by the HEASARC in January 2005 based on CDS
Catalog II/250, table evs_cat.dat. The latter was itself based on on an
electronically-readable version that was distributed by the Sternberg
Astronomical Institute and Institute of Astronomy (Russian Acad. Sci.),
The HEASARC has made a small number of mostly cosmetic
changes to this catalog. Firstly, variable star names have had all the zeroes
following the 'V' character deleted, e.g., LMC V30 rather than LMC V0030, to
follow the typical naming convention. Secondly, a number of the parameters that
are flags (remark_flag, position_flag and eclipse_var_note) had
non-alphanumeric values such as * " and ! in the original catalog which the
HEASARC has changed to alphanumeric characters. Thirdly, the parameter
limit_min_mag had a possible value of '<' in 541 entries in the original
catalog, which value was used to designate an upper limit to the brightness
(apparently), i.e., it means a lower limit to the minimum magnitude, or that
the true minimum magnitude is fainter than the tabulated minimum magnitude.
The HEASARC has changed all 541 of these values from '<' to '>' in order to
conform to the normal practice for indicating 'fainter than' in magnitudes.
This is a numeric code for the galaxy name, ranging from
89 for the LMC to 123 for the WLM Galaxy (codes 1-88 in the GCVS are
reserved for constellation names for galactic variable stars).
The galaxy codes are as follows:
Gal. Code Galaxy Gal. Code Galaxy Gal. Code Galaxy
89 LMC 90 SMC 91 M 31
92 M 33 93 NGC 147 94 NGC 185
95 NGC 205 96 NGC 300 97 Scl Galaxy
98 IC 1613 99 ESO 356- 4 100 NGC 1313
101 NGC 1466 102 Ret Galaxy 103 PGC 19441
104 NGC 2366 105 NGC 2403 106 Holmberg II
107 NGC 3031 108 Sextans B 109 Leo A
110 NGC 3109 111 Leo I 112 Sextans A
113 NGC 4365 114 NGC 4472 115 NGC 4486
116 NGC 5128 117 NGC 5457 118 UGC 9749
119 UGC 10822 120 NGC 6822 121 IC 5152
122 UGC 12613 123 WLM Galaxy
The Variable Star Number within the specified galaxy.
The GCVS Extragalactic Variable Star designation.
This flag is set to 'Y' if there is a remark on this star in
the file: ftp://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/pub/cats/II/250/evs_rem.dat
The Right Ascension of the star in the specified equinox. This was given
to no better than a precision of 0.1 seconds of time in the originating table,
and in 1950 equatorial co-ordinates.
The Declination of the star in the specified equinox. This was given
to a precision of 1 arcsecond in the originating table, and in 1950 equatorial
The Galactic Longitude of the star.
The Galactic Latitude of the star.
This is a code flag describing the positional accuracy,
'A' means right ascensions accurate to one second of time and
declinations accurate to one arcsecond;
'B' means declinations accurate to 0.1 arcminutes;
'C' means declinations accurate to one arcminute;
'D' means for V474 in the Sculptor system (V474 SclG), the listed
coordinates refer to the galaxy's center since the coordinates
of the star itself are unknown.
The type of variability according to the GCVS variability
classification scheme, with the addition of the new "BLBOO" type, named after
the prototype star BL Boo = NGC 5466 V19 referring to the so-called "anomalous
Cepheids", i.e. stars with periods characteristic of comparatively long-period
RRAB variables, but considerably brighter in luminosity. There are also
suspected variables designated by the symbol "var:".
The apparent magnitude at maximum brightness.
This flag is set to ':' if the maximum magnitude is
This is a limit flag for the minimum magnitude: '>'
indicates that the min_mag value given is a bright limit, ie., the actual
minimum magnitude is fainter than this value, while '(' means that the
min_mag value given is an amplitude rather than an observed magnitude.
This parameter is either the apparent magnitude at minimum
brightness, or, if the value of limit_min_mag is '(', the amplitude of
This flag is set to ':' if the min_mag value is
The designation of the photometric band in which the magnitudes
are given: P means photographic magnitudes, V means visual or photovisual
magnitudes as well as Johnson V system magnitudes. In the latter case, they
are usually distinguishable from visual magnitudes by the number of digits
after the decimal point (as a rule, V system magnitudes are based upon
photoelectric or CCD photometry). The letters U, B, R, I, J, H, K, L, M, N,
O, Q mean, as a rule, magnitudes expressed in the corresponding systems of
The epoch of maximum or minimum, expressed as the Julian Date. For
eclipsing and ellipsoidal variables, RV Tau and RS CVn stars, the catalog
gives the epoch of minimum light, while for the rest of variables, it gives
the epoch of maximum light. For novae (variability_type N) and supernovae
(variability_type SN), the epoch is completed by the year of the outburst
This flag is set to ':' if the epoch is considered uncertain.
A code qualifying the period, that is set to '(' if the
period is the mean cycle time of a U Gem star or recurrent nova.
The period of the variable star, in days, or, if limit_period =
'(', the mean cycle time of a U Gem star or recurrent nova. This parameter
is given with a range of precisions up to a possible maximum of 1.E-08 days
in the original table.
This flag is set to ':' if the period is considered uncertain.
This parameter contains either the rise time (M-m, the
duration of light increase from minimum to maximum) for intrinsic variables,
or the duration of the eclipse (D) for eclipsing or Algol-type binaries.
The value is given as a percentage of the period of the star.
This flag is set to ':' if the rise time or eclipse
duration given in the rise_eclipse_time parameter is considered uncertain.
This is a note used for eclipsing variables that is set
to '0' when the duration of the light constancy phase at minimum light (d)
is equal to zero.
The spectral type of the variable star. If there exist several
spectral type determinations for a star, the more recent ones have been
preferred, taking into account the reliability of each determination.
The symbols "d" (dwarfs) and "g" (giants) have been converted into luminosity
classes V and III, respectively. If a star showed spectral features typical
of novae during or after the outburst, a symbol 'NOVA' is given in this
parameter. If the spectrum showed features characteristic of U Gem variables,
this parameter contains the symbol 'UG'. A continuous spectrum is designated
as 'cont', the symbol 'e' means an emission-line spectrum, lower-case letters
'ea', 'eb' in this field stand for 'e alpha', 'e beta'. For RR Lyrae stars,
spectral types derived from hydrogen lines are given. A plus sign (+) between
two spectral type values means that the spectra of two components of a
spectroscopic binary are observed. Two spectral type values separated with
a minus sign (-) give the range of spectral type variations in the process of
This is a reference code referring to a major study of the star,
the key to which can be found in the file:
This is a reference code referring to a study that contains a
chart or photograph of the star field, the key to which can be found in the
An alternative designation for the variable star that is used
in the reference whose code is given in the ref_star parameter.
An alternative designation for the variable star that is used
in the reference whose code is given in the ref_chart parameter.
The alternative GCVS or NSV designation for the variable star.
This is a flag indicating the nonmembership status of the variable
star in the Galaxy in whose field the star lies. The symbols 'N' or 'N:'
indicate nonmembership and possible nonmembership, respectively, in the galaxy
in question. For the stars that are in the main GCVS (vols. I-III) or the
GCVS Catalog of Newly Suspected Variables (NSV) and which are not members
of the corresponding galaxy, the present catalog typicallu gives only the
Extragalactic Variable running number, the coordinates, the symbol 'N' in this
field, and the GCVS or NSV name.
The year of outburst of the star, if a nova.
This flag is set to ':' if the outburst year of the nova is
The HEASARC Browse object classification, based on the spectral type
parameter (spect_type), if there is information in this field, else
based on the variability type parameter (variability_type).
Questions regarding the GCVSEGVARS database table can be addressed to the
HEASARC User Hotline.
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