Volume 553, May 2013
|Number of page(s)||4|
|Published online||26 April 2013|
Active asteroid belt causes the UXOR phenomenon in RZ Piscium
European Southern Observatory,
2 Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory, Russian Academy of Sciences, 196140 Pulkovo, St. Petersburg, Russia
3 The Sobolev Astronomical Institute, St. Petersburg University, Petrodvorets, St. Petersburg, Russia
4 Crimean Astrophysical Observatory, P. Nauchny, Crimea, Ukraine
5 Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
6 Leiden Observatory, PO Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
Accepted: 18 March 2013
We report the discovery of mid-infrared excess emission in the young object RZ Psc. The excess constitutes ~8% of its Lbol and is well fit by a single 500 K blackbody, implying a dust-free region within ~0.7 AU for optically thick dust. The object displays dust obscuration events (UXOR behaviour) on a time scale that suggests dusty material on orbits of ~0.5 AU. We also report a 12.4-year cyclical photometric variability that can be interpreted as caused by perturbations in the dust distribution. The system is characterized by a high inclination, marginal extinction (during bright photometric states), a single temperature for the warm dust, and an age estimate that puts the star beyond the formation stage. We propose that the dust occultation events present a dynamical view of an active asteroid belt whose collisional products sporadically obscure the central star.
Key words: stars: variables: T Tauri, Herbig Ae/Be / techniques: photometric / planet-disk interactions / stars: late-type / stars: individual: RZ Psc
© ESO, 2013
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