Volume 518, July-August 2010Herschel: the first science highlights
|Number of page(s)||8|
|Section||Stellar structure and evolution|
|Published online||02 September 2010|
The absence of sub-minute periodicity in classical T Tauri stars*
Hamburger Sternwarte, Universität Hamburg, Gojenbergsweg 112, 21029 Hamburg, Germany e-mail: email@example.com
2 Institut für Astrophysik, Universität Göttingen, Friedrich-Hund-Platz 1, 37077 Göttingen, Germany
3 Max-Planck Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Giessenbachstrasse 1, 85741 Garching bei München, Germany
4 South African Astronomical Observatory, Observatory Road, Observatory 7925, South Africa
Accepted: 4 May 2010
Context. Classical T Tauri stars (CTTS) are young, late-type objects, that still accrete matter from a circumstellar disk. Analytical treatments and numerical simulations predict instabilities of the accretion shock on the stellar surface.
Aims. We search for variability on timescales below a few minutes in the CTTS TW Hya and AA Tau.
Methods. TW Hya was observed with SALTICAM on the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) in narrow-band filters around the Balmer jump. The observations were performed in slit mode, which provides a time resolution of about 0.1 s. For AA Tau we obtained observations with OPTIMA, a single photon-counting device with even better time resolution.
Results. Small-scale variability typically lasts a few seconds, however, no significant periodicity is detected. We place a 99% confidence upper limit on the pulsed fraction of the lightcurves. The relative amplitude is below 0.001 for TW Hya in the frequency range 0.02–3 Hz in the 340 nm filter and 0.1–3 Hz in the 380 nm filter. The corresponding value for AA Tau is an amplitude of 0.005 for 0.02–50 Hz.
Conclusions. The relevant timescales indicate that shock instabilites should not be seen directly in our optical and UV observations, but the predicted oscialltions would induce observable variations in the reddening. We discuss how the magnetic field could stabilise the accretion shock.
Key words: accretion, accretion disks / stars: individual: TW Hya / stars: individual: AA Tau / stars: oscillations / stars: variables: T Tauri, Herbig Ae/Be
© ESO, 2010
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