Volume 578, June 2015
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Section||Interstellar and circumstellar matter|
|Published online||11 June 2015|
Circumstellar disks revealed by H/K flux variation gradients
1 Astronomisches Institut, Ruhr–Universität Bochum, Universitätsstraße 150, 44801 Bochum, Germany
2 Instituto de Astronomía, Universidad Católica del Norte, Avenida Angamos 0610, Casilla 1280 Antofagasta, Chile
3 Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii, 640 N. Aohoku Place, Hilo, HI 96720, USA
Received: 16 March 2015
Accepted: 28 April 2015
The variability of young stellar objects (YSO) changes their brightness and color preventing a proper classification in traditional color−color and color magnitude diagrams. We have explored the feasibility of the flux variation gradient (FVG) method for YSOs, using H and K band monitoring data of the star forming region RCW 38 obtained at the University Observatory Bochum in Chile. Simultaneous multi-epoch flux measurements follow a linear relation FH = α + β·FK for almost all YSOs with large variability amplitude. The slope β gives the mean HK color temperature Tvar of the varying component. Because Tvar is hotter than the dust sublimation temperature, we have tentatively assigned it to stellar variations. If the gradient does not meet the origin of the flux-flux diagram, an additional non- or less-varying component may be required. If the variability amplitude is larger at the shorter wavelength, e.g. α< 0, this component is cooler than the star (e.g. a circumstellar disk); vice versa, if α> 0, the component is hotter like a scattering halo or even a companion star. We here present examples of two YSOs, where the HK FVG implies the presence of a circumstellar disk; this finding is consistent with additional data at J and L. One YSO shows a clear K-band excess in the JHK color−color diagram, while the significance of a K-excess in the other YSO depends on the measurement epoch. Disentangling the contributions of star and disk it turns out that the two YSOs have huge variability amplitudes (~3−5 mag). The HK FVG analysis is a powerful complementary tool to analyze the varying components of YSOs and worth further exploration of monitoring data at other wavelengths.
Key words: stars: formation / circumstellar matter / stars: individual: RCW38 / stars: variables: general
© ESO, 2015
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