- Cataclysmic variables (CVs) are semi-detached binaries
consisting of a Roche-lobe filling secondary star
transferring mass to a white dwarf primary star via an
accretion disc or magnetic accretion stream.
- CVs are characterised by their cataclysmic (i.e. violent but
non-destructive) eruptions; the novae,
recurrent novae, dwarf novae
nova-likes are all classes of CV.