Whenever you use our catalogs, please, give full reference:
Samus N.N., Kazarovets E.V., Durlevich O.V., Kireeva N.N., Pastukhova E.N.,
General Catalogue of Variable Stars: Version GCVS 5.1,
Astronomy Reports, 2017, vol. 61, No. 1, pp. 80-88 {2017ARep...61...80S}

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General Catalogue of Variable Stars new version (GCVS 5.1)
Samus N.N., Durlevich O.V., Kazarovets E V., Kireeva N.N., Pastukhova E.N.

The GCVS 5.1 version contains data for 52011 individual variable objects discovered and named as variable stars by 2015 and located mainly in the Milky Way galaxy. Also, there are 158 objects that are non-existing, non-stellar, or stars erroneously named for the second time. The stars of the GCVS 5.1 are stars of the GCVS fourth edition plus Name-lists Nos. 6781. The stars from the Name-lists Nos.7881 are presented in the complete GCVS format. Complete information for stars of the Name-lists Nos. 6777 is so far provided in the first 18 constellations (AndromedaCassiopeia). In these constellations, the GCVS information has been completely revised with active use of new publications as well as observations retrieved by the GCVS compilers by data mining and used to determine new variability types and new light elements whenever possible. We continue this work and will introduce new data for the next constellations as soon as they are ready.
Upon recommendations of the IAU Commissions 27 and 42, in 2006, we developed a new experimental system of classification for variable stars.
File Summary:
 FileName        Explanations
htm/index.html   HTML-site
gcvs5.txt        The GCVS 5.1 Catalog (main table)
ref.txt          References
remark.txt       Remarks

The main table of the GCVS 5.1 catalogue is presented in the file gcvs5.txt . All variables in the main table of the GCVS 5.1 catalogue are arranged in the order of their names in corresponding constellations. The constellations are arranged in the alphabet order of their UNABBREVIATED Latin names.
It should be reminded that the traditional order of the star names traditional order of the star names in variable-star catalogues, with the name of constellation added (in Latin Genitive or in Latin abbreviated form, e.g. RR Lyrae or RR Lyr), is the following:
R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z
       SS, ST, SU, SV, SW, SX, SY, SZ
             TT, TU, TV, TW, TX, TY, TZ
                    UU, UV, UV, UX, UY, UZ
                            VV, VW, VX, VY, VZ
                                    WW, WX, WY, WZ
                                              XX, XY, XZ
                                                     YY, YZ
AA, AB, AC,  AI, AK, AL,  AZ
        BB, BC,  BI, BK, BL,  BZ
               CC,  CI, CK, CL,  CZ

                           II, IK, IL,  IZ
                                KK, KL,  KZ


These one-letter names and two-letter combinations give 334 names. The next variable star in the catalogue gets the name V0335 (e.g., V0335 Lyr, or V335 Lyr), and this numbering can be continued infinitely. The part of the main table for a constellation usually ends with traditional Greek-letter and/or Latin-letter names for some bright variables .

The line for a variable star in the catalog begins with the first field, starting with a six-digit ordinal number. The first two digits are constellation numeric code in the alphabet order of their unabbreviated Latin names (01 for Andromeda, 02 for Antlia, 88 for Vulpecula). The next four digits are the number of the variable star in this constellation. Thus, 010001 is R And; 725861 is V5861 Sgr. If the first digit after the constellation number is 9, it means that the last two digits correspond to a Greek or Latin letter, numbered in the alphabet order. In the case of the second digit after the constellation number being 0, this is a Greek letter. For example, 019001 is And; 869024 is omega Vir. If the second digit after the constellation number is 1, the next digits correspond to a lowercase Latin letter (e.g., 179112 is l Car); 2 in this position corresponds to an uppercase Latin letter (189202 is B Cas). In a small number of cases, also used is the next position after the six-digit number is a digit that corresponds to a flag modifying the designation if the GCVS name contains an index. Thus, the six-digit number and the flag take the form 180106A and 180106B for the two variable components of the binary Cepheid CE Cas: CE Cas A and CE Cas B. 0390041 means delta 1 Aps; 6892122 is L2 Pup.

The traditional name of the variable star is presented in the next field. Note three-letter abbreviations of Greek letters in this field; they are the same as those used for Greek letters in SIMBAD.

For 51606 variable stars, our version provides new equatorial J2000.0 coordinates (right ascensions to within 0.01s and declinations to within 0.1"), for 23934 stars with allowance for their proper motions.

Byte-by-byte Description of file: gcvs5.txt
1- 2 I2 --- Constell [1/88]Constellation numeric code
3- 6 I4 --- Number Star number within the constellation
7 A1 --- Component*Component identification
9- 18 A10 --- GCVS *Variable star designation
19 A1 --- NoteFlag [*] Remarks
21- 22 I2 h RAh Hours RA, equinox J2000.0
23- 24 I2 min RAm Minutes RA, equinox J2000.0
25- 29 F5.2 s RAs Seconds RA, equinox J2000.0
31 A1 --- DE- Sign Dec, equinox J2000.0
32- 33 I2 deg DEd Degrees Dec, equinox J2000.0
34- 35 I2 arcmin DEm Minutes Dec, equinox J2000.0
36- 39 F4.1 arcsec DEs Seconds Dec, equinox J2000.0
40 A1 --- u_DEs *[:] position accuracy flag
42- 51 A10 --- VarType Type of variability
53 A1 --- l_magMax [<>(]">" if magMax is a faint limit; "<" if magMax is a bright limit
54- 59 F6.3 mag magMax Magnitude at maximum brightness
60 A1 --- u_magMax Uncertainty flag (:) on magMax
63- 64 A2 --- l_magMinI [<(]"<" if magMinI is a bright limit
"(" if magMinI is an amplitude
65- 70 F6.3 mag magMinI Minimum I magnitude or amplitude
71 A1 --- u_magMinI Uncertainty flag (:) on magMinI
72- 73 A1 --- n_magMinI *Alternative photometric system for magMinI
74 A1 --- f_magMinI [)] ")" if magMinI is an amplitude
76- 77 A2 --- l_magMinII [<(]"<" if magMinII is a bright limit
"(" if magMinII is an amplitude
78- 83 F6.3 mag magMinII Minimum II magnitude or amplitude
84 A1 --- u_magMinII Uncertainty flag (:) on magMinII
85- 86 A1 --- n_magMinII *Alternative photometric system for magMinII
87 A1 --- f_magMinII [)] ")" if magMinII is an amplitude
89- 90 A2 --- magCode *The photometric system for magnitudes
92-102 F11.5 d Epoch *Epoch for maximum light, Julian days
103 A1 --- q_Epoch *[:+-] Quality flag on Epoch
105-108 A4 --- YearNova Year of outburst for nova or supernova
109 A1 --- q_Year [:] Quality flag on Year of outburst
111 A1 --- l_Period*[<>(] Code for upper or lower limits
112-127 F16.10 d Period Period of the variable star
128 A1 --- u_Period Uncertainty flag (:) on Period
129-130 A2 --- n_Period*[*/N)]
132-134 A3 % M-m/D *Rising time (M-m) or duration of eclipse (D)
135 A1 --- u_M-m/D Uncertainty flag (:) on M-m/D
136 A1 --- n_M-m/D *[*] Note for eclipsing variable
140-154 A17 --- SpType Spectral type
156-160 A5 --- *Ref1 Reference to a study of the star
162-166 A5 --- *Ref2 Reference to a chart or photograph
168-178 A12 --- *Exists *Cases of non-existence of the variable etc.
180- 185 F6.3 arcsec/yr PMa Proper motion RA
187- 192 F6.3 arcsec/yr PMd Proper motion DE
194-201 F8.3 yr Epoch coor *Epoch of the coordinates
203 A1 --- u_Ident *Uncertainty flag (?) on identification
205- 213 A12 --- Ident *The source of astrometric data
215- 224 A10 --- VarTypeII *The new type of variability
226- 235 A10 --- GCVSII *Variable star designation

Note on Component:
designations of components of double/multiple stars: A,B; 1,2,3 ... (tau 1). Usually only one component of the binary is variable, but there exist two cases (CE Cas A,B; EQ Peg A,B) when both components are variable and enter the catalogue as separate lines.

Note on GCVS:
traditional transliterations of greek letters are used. Lower- and upper-case latin letters must be distinguished (e.g. u Her and U Her).

Note on NoteFlag:
An asterisk in this field means the presence of a remark in the file remark.txt .

Note on RAh, RAm, RAs, DE-, DEd, DEm, DEs:
the position is not listed when the variable is equivalent to another catalogued variable ("=" in column Exists, byte 168).

Note on u_DEs:
(:)a flag indicating that the coordinates are actually rougher than the accuracy standard adopted in the this table.

Note on n_magMax, n_magMin: Code for alternative photometric system.
Field is non-blank if magMin is a magnitude or amplitude given in a system other than that indicated by magCode. An asterisk in the corresponding position means the amplitude measured in white light.
Note on magCode:
the photometric system in which magMin and magMax are reported (see also Note on n_magMax, n_magMin). The main codes are P (photographic magnitudes) and V (visual, photovisual, or Johnson's V). Several stars from the 68th Name-List have in these positions "1." designating the 1.04 micrometer band of the system introduced by G.W.Lockwood. The designations u,v,b,y refer to the Stroemgren system. The symbols "Ic" and "Rc" mean magnitudes in Cousins' I system. "g" designates magnitudes in the system of Thuan and Gunn; "T" stands for broad-band Tycho magnitudes formed from B and V measurements; "r" are red magnitudes not tied to a particular system.
Note on Epoch:
Epochs are given for minimum light for all eclipsing and ellipsoidal variables, as well as for RV Tau and RS CVn types, and for maximum for all other types. This rule may occasionally be broken, but this is explained only in the remarks to the catalog, which are not available in machine-readable form at this time. The epochs are Julian dates, with the starting figures 24... omitted; The only exception is WY Sge, where the complete epoch is JD 237249:. The codes ":" are used if the epoch is uncertain.

Note on q_Epoch:
the following codes are used (see also note on Epoch) :
":" are used if the epoch is uncertain;
"+" epoch may be later than that reported;
"-" epoch may be earlier than that reported.

Note on l_Period: the following codes are used:
">" or"<" if period is a lower or upper limit, respectively.
"(": the period is the mean cycle time of a U Gem or recurrent nova (in this case, there is ")" in pos. 129).

Note on n_Period:
the following codes are used: "*N" if the period may be a multiple of the quoted value;
"/N" if the period may be a fraction of the quoted value;
")" - see the note on l_Period.

Note on M-m/D:
this column holds the rising time (M-m) of intrinsic variables, or the duration of the eclipse (D) for eclipsing binaries. These values help to define the shape of the light curve. The value is given in percentage of the period of the star.

Note on u_M-m/D:
the "*" indicates that the duration of the light constancy phase at minimum light (d) for an eclipsing variable is equal to zero.

Note on Ref1, Ref2:
"00001" - if the main characteristics of the star were determined by the authors themselves.
"00002" - "10204" - GCVS 4.2
"N0001" - "N0412" - New designations GCVS 5.1
"V 001" - "V 554" - Catalogue of Extragalactic Variable stars
"67001" - "81321" - Name-Lists Nos.67-81
" HIP" - The Special Name-List No.74 for Hipparcos Variables.
If no chart is available for the variable, but the star is contained in one of the Durchmusterung catalogs or the Hubble Space Telescope Guide Star Catalog, the corresponding abbreviation (BD, CPD, CoD, GSC, HIP, USNO, 2MASS, UCAC2) is given.

Note on Exists:
"=" in byte 168 appears in two cases.

First, it is used if the variable is equivalent to another cataloged variable. In such case, after the "=" symbol, the alternative name of the variable follows, and all necessary information on the star is to be found under that alternative name.

Second , the "=" symbol may be followed by the star's name in the Catalogue of Extragalactic Variable stars.

Note on Epoch coor:
Epoch of the given coordinates. No epoch is provided when using the coordinates from the literature if the epoch was no specified in the publication and cold not be established;

Note on u_Ident:
The variable star's identification with the source catalog is uncertain;

Note on Ident :
A brief designation of the source of astrometric data. In several cases, the catalog designation is folowed by the symbol "+pm"; it implies that the position for a certain epoch was taken from the catalog and reduced to the epoch 2000.0 using information on the star's proper motion from a different source.

Note on VarTypeII:
Upon recommendations of the IAU Commissions 27 and 42, in 2006, we developed a new experimental system of classification for variable stars.

Note on GCVSII:
The repetition of the GCVS name.

Below, we give a list of the major catalogs and other data sources used, roghly in the order of our preference in identifying variable stars (see also the description of the catalogs provided for A.A. Volchkov's visualization code we used at www.simfov.ru).

Hip - The Hipparcos Catalogue (ESA 1997).

Tyc2 - The Tycho Catalogue (Hog et al. 2000). In isolated instances where the star is absent in the second Tycho catalogue but is present in the first catalogue (ESA 1997), the source is indicated as Tyc1.

UCAC2 - US Naval Observatory CCD Astrograph Catalog (Zacharias et al., 2004).

PPM - The Positions and Proper Motions (Roser et al. 1991-1993).

NPM - The Lick Northern Proper Motion Program (Klemola et al. 1987).

AC - The Four-Million Star Catalog (see Gulyaev and Nesterov 1992).

ACT - The ACT Reference Catalog (Urban et al. 1997).

GSC 2.2 - The Guide Star Catalog, Version 2.2.01, 2001, Space Telescope Science, Institute and Osservatorio Astronomico di Torino.

GSC - The Guide Star Catalog (Lasker et al. 1990). The symbol "ns" accompanying a GSC reference implies that the entry is marked as a nonstellar object in the cited catalog.

A2.0, B1.0 - A Catalog of Astrometric Standards (Monet et al., 1998) (there were rare cases when the star could be found only in the previous version of the catalogue, marked as A1.0); The Whole-Sky USNO-B1.0 Catalog of 1 045 913 669 Sources (Monet et al., 2003).

2MASS - The Two Micron All Sky Survey (Cutri et al., 2003).

GCVS - For some 10 stars, the coordinates were measured by the authors using Digitized Sky Survey images, plates from different collections, or other images.

Lit. - The coordinates taken from current astronomical periodicals.