Brightness variations of the FUor-type eruptive star V346 Normae⋆
1 Konkoly Observatory, Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, PO Box 67, 1525 Budapest, Hungary
2 Astronomisches Institut, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universitätsstraße 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany
Received: 1 August 2016
Accepted: 1 January 2017
Decades after the beginning of its FU Orionis-type outburst, V346 Nor unexpectedly underwent a fading event of ΔK = 4.6 mag around 2010. We obtained near-infrared observations and re-analyzed data from the VISTA/VVV survey to outline the brightness evolution. In our VLT/NaCO images, we discovered a halo of scattered light around V346 Nor with a size of about 0".04 (30 au). The VISTA data outlined a well-defined minimum in the light curve in late 2010/early 2011, and tentatively revealed a small-amplitude periodic modulation of 58 days. Our latest data points from 2016 demonstrate that the source is still brightening but has not yet reached the 2008 level. We used a simple accretion disk model with varying accretion rate and line-of-sight extinction to reproduce the observed near-infrared magnitudes and colors. We found that the flux changes of V346 Nor before 2008 were caused by a correlated change of extinction and accretion rate, while the minimum around 2010 was mostly due to decreasing accretion. The source reached a highest accretion rate of ≈ 10-4M⊙ yr-1 in 1992. A combination of accretion and extinction changes has been invoked in the literature to interpret the flux variations of certain embedded young eruptive stars.
Key words: stars: formation / circumstellar matter / infrared: stars / stars: individual: V346 Nor
© ESO, 2017