Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 544A, 112-112 (2012/8-1)
An unusual very low-mass high-amplitude pre-main sequence periodic variable.
RODRIGUEZ-LEDESMA M.V., MUNDT R., IBRAHIMOV M., MESSINA S., PARIHAR P., HESSMAN F.V., ALVES DE OLIVEIRA C. and HERBST W.
Abstract (from CDS):
We have investigated the nature of the variability of CHS7797, an unusual periodic variable in the Orion Nebula Cluster. An extensive I-band photometric data set of CHS7797 was compiled between 2004-2010 using various telescopes. Further optical data have been collected in R and z' bands. In addition, simultaneous observations of the ONC region including CHS7797 were performed in the I, J, Ks & IRAC 3.6 and 4.5µm bands over a time interval of ≃40d. CHS7797 shows an unusual large-amplitude variation of ≃1.7mag in the R, I, and z' bands with a period 17.786±0.03d (FAP=1x10–15%). The amplitude of the brightness modulation decreases only slightly at longer wavelengths. The star is faint during ≃2/3 of the period and the shape of the phased light-curves for the seven different observing seasons shows minor changes and small-amplitude variations. Interestingly, there are no significant colour-flux correlations for λ≲2µm, while the object becomes redder when fainter at longer wavelengths. CHS7797 has a spectral type of M6 and an estimated mass between 0.04-0.1M☉. The analysis of the data suggests that the periodic variability of CHS7797 is most probably caused by an orbital motion. Variability as a result of rotational brightness modulation by a hot spot is excluded by the lack of any colour-brightness correlation in the optical. The latter indicates that CHS7797 is most probably occulted by circumstellar matter in which grains have grown from typical 0.1µm to ≃1-2µm sizes. We discuss two possible scenarios in which CHS7797 is periodically eclipsed by structures in a disc, namely that CHS7797 is a single object with a circumstellar disc, or that CHS7797 is a binary system, similar to KH15D, in which an inclined circumbinary disc is responsible of the variability. Possible reasons for the typical 0.3mag variations in I-band at a given phase are discussed.
techniques: photometric - stars: variables: T Tauri, Herbig Ae/Be - circumstellar matter - stars: pre-main sequence - starspots - binaries: general
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