Astrophys. J., 755, 65 (2012/August-2)
Near-infrared variability in young stars in Cygnus OB7.
RICE T.S., WOLK S.J. and ASPIN C.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present the first results from a 124 night J, H, K near-infrared monitoring campaign of the dark cloud L 1003 in Cygnus OB7, an active star-forming region. Using three seasons of UKIRT observations spanning 1.5 years, we obtained high-quality photometry on 9200 stars down to J = 17 mag, with photometric uncertainty better than 0.04 mag. On the basis of near-infrared excesses from disks, we identify 30 pre-main-sequence stars, including 24 which are newly discovered. We analyze those stars and find that the NIR excesses are significantly variable. All 9200 stars were monitored for photometric variability; among the field star population, ∼160 exhibited near-infrared variability (1.7% of the sample). Of the 30 young stellar objects (YSOs), 28 of them (93%) are variable at a significant level. Of the 30 YSOs, twenty-five have near-infrared excess consistent with simple disk-plus-star classical T Tauri models. Nine of these (36%) drift in color space over the course of these observations and/or since Two Micron All Sky Survey observations such that they cross the boundary defining the NIR excess criteria; effectively, they have a transient near-infrared excess. Thus, time-series JHK observations can be used to obtain a more complete sample of disk-bearing stars than single-epoch JHK observations. About half of the YSOs have color-space variations parallel to either the classical T Tauri star locus or a hybrid track which includes the dust reddening trajectory. This indicates that the NIR variability in YSOs that possess accretion disks arises from a combination of variable extinction and changes in the inner accretion disk: either in accretion rate, central hole size, and/or the inclination of the inner disk. While some variability may be due to stellar rotation, the level of variability on the individual stars can exceed a magnitude. This is a strong empirical suggestion that protoplanetary disks are quite dynamic and exhibit more complex activity on short timescales than is attributable to rotation alone or captured in static disk models.
accretion, accretion disks - infrared: stars - stars: formation - stars: pre-main sequence - stars: variables: T Tauri, Herbig Ae/Be
Table 1: [RWA2012] NN (Nos 1-30)
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