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Cataclysmic Variables Alert Programme

In May 1994, the Belgian Cataclysmic Variables Alert Programme (CVAP) was initiated as a cataclysmic variables observation project, similar to (but complementary with) the Recurrent Objects Programme of the UK-based "The Astronomer Group" (Hurst 1989).

The Cataclysmic Variables Circulars (CVC) were distributed via email free of charge in order to disseminate information on cataclysmic variables activity. The CVAP and the publication of the CVCs stopped in 1999 since the VSNET mailing list fulfilled the role of prompt notifications of cataclysmic variables activity.

CVC archive

The CVAP consisted of poorly observed objects, for which professional astronomers have shown interest and have requested assistance in providing a continuous monitoring. It has been complemented with objects, for which only a few historical outburst observations existed, or for which anomalies in predicted behaviour had been found.

The CVAP was officially announced in Cataclysmic Variables Circular No. 2 (May 5, 1994). It started as a monitoring programme of 12 cataclysmic variables, of which the identification and/or classification was uncertain or unknown. For each of these objects, Paul Van Cauteren issued a set of finding charts and a sequence based on the Guide Star Catalog (GSC). Although GSC-based magnitudes sometimes tend to be inaccurate, this approach allowed us to create sequences for poorly studied objects, which otherwise probably would have remained unmonitored for several more years.

The CVAP programme has been revised several times and included more than 50 objects. Since its creation in 1994, many CVAP objects have been detected in outburst for the first time since their discovery and have been monitored very intensively, both visually and by CCD. There are numerous examples of this in the dozens of CVC issues that have been published since May 1994. We received regular CVAP contributions from amateurs in the US, UK, Czech Republic, Hungary, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Japan, Belgium, etc.

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