A Catalog of Potential Post–Common Envelope Binaries

Matthias U. Kruckow, Patrick G. Neunteufel, Rosanne Di Stefano, Yan Gao, Chiaki Kobayashi

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We present a catalogue containing 839 candidate post common envelope systems. Common envelope evolution is very important in stellar astrophysics, particularly in the context of very compact and short-period binaries, including cataclysmic variables, as progenitors of e.g. supernovae type Ia or mergers of black holes and/or neutron stars. At the same time it is a barely understood process in binary evolution. Due to limitations, since partially remedied, on direct simulation, early investigations were mainly focused on providing analytic prescriptions of the outcome of common envelope evolution. In recent years, detailed hydrodynamical calculations have produced deeper insight into the previously elusive process of envelope ejection. However, a direct link between observations and theory of this relatively short-lived phase in binary evolution has not been forthcoming. Therefore, the main insight to be gained from observations has to be derived from the current state of systems likely to have gone through a common envelope. Here we present an extensive catalogue of such observations as found in the literature. The aim of this paper is to provide a reliable set of data, obtained from observations, to be used in the theoretical modelling of common envelope evolution. In this catalogue, the former common envelope donor star is commonly observed as a white dwarf star or as a hot sub-dwarf star. This catalogue includes period and mass estimates, wherever obtainable. Some binaries are border line cases to allow an investigation of the transition between a common envelope formation and other mass-transfer processes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number86
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Issue number2
Early online date20 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2021


  • astro-ph.SR


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