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Multicolor Variability of Young Stars in the Lagoon Nebula: Driving Causes and Intrinsic Timescales

Venuti, Laura and Cody, Ann Marie and Rebull, Luisa M. and Beccari, Giacomo and Irwin, Mike J. and Thanvantri, Sowmya and Howell, Steve B. and Barentsen, Geert (2021) Multicolor Variability of Young Stars in the Lagoon Nebula: Driving Causes and Intrinsic Timescales. Astronomical Journal, 162 (3). Art. No. 101. ISSN 0004-6256. doi:10.3847/1538-3881/ac0536.

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Space observatories have provided unprecedented depictions of the many variability behaviors typical of low-mass, young stars. However, those studies have so far largely omitted more massive objects (∼2 M_⊙ to 4–5 M_⊙) and were limited by the absence of simultaneous, multiwavelength information. We present a new study of young star variability in the ∼1–2 Myr old, massive Lagoon Nebula region. Our sample encompasses 278 young, late B to K-type stars, monitored with Kepler/K2. Auxiliary u, g, r, i, Hα time-series photometry, simultaneous with K2, was acquired at the Paranal Observatory. We employed this comprehensive data set and archival infrared photometry to determine individual stellar parameters, assess the presence of circumstellar disks, and tie the variability behaviors to inner disk dynamics. We found significant mass-dependent trends in variability properties, with B/A stars displaying substantially reduced levels of variability compared to G/K stars for any light-curve morphology. These properties suggest different magnetic field structures at the surface of early-type and later-type stars. We also detected a dearth of some disk-driven variability behaviors, particularly dippers, among stars earlier than G. This indicates that their higher surface temperatures and more chaotic magnetic fields prevent the formation and survival of inner disk dust structures corotating with the star. Finally, we examined the characteristic variability timescales within each light curve and determined that the day-to-week timescales are predominant over the K2 time series. These reflect distinct processes and locations in the inner disk environment, from intense accretion triggered by instabilities in the innermost disk regions to variable accretion efficiency in the outer magnetosphere.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Venuti, Laura0000-0002-4115-0318
Cody, Ann Marie0000-0002-3656-6706
Rebull, Luisa M.0000-0001-6381-515X
Beccari, Giacomo0000-0002-3865-9906
Irwin, Mike J.0000-0002-2191-9038
Howell, Steve B.0000-0002-2532-2853
Barentsen, Geert0000-0002-3306-3484
Additional Information:© 2021. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2021 March 23; revised 2021 May 9; accepted 2021 May 21; published 2021 August 13. We wish to thank the anonymous reviewer for a prompt report that helped improve the manuscript's clarity. We gratefully acknowledge Janet Drew for making her narrowband Hα filter available to us for the VST/OmegaCAM observations. L.V.'s research was supported by an appointment to the NASA Postdoctoral Program at the NASA Ames Research Center, administered by Universities Space Research Association under contract with NASA. The work was also supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) under grant No. 80NSSC21K0633 issued through the NNH20ZDA001N Astrophysics Data Analysis Program (ADAP). This study employed data products from observations made with ESO Telescopes at the La Silla Paranal Observatory under program ID 177.D-3023, as part of the VST Photometric Hα Survey of the Southern Galactic Plane and Bulge (VPHAS+; This publication also makes use of data products from the UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey, the Two Micron All Sky Survey, and the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer. The Two Micron All Sky Survey is a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center/California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation. The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer is a joint project of the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Facilities: Kepler/K2 - , VST (OmegaCAM) - , Spitzer (IRAC). - Software: TOPCAT (Taylor 2005), NumPy (Oliphant 2006), Scikit-learn (Pedregosa et al. 2011).
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASA Postdoctoral ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Young stellar objects; Circumstellar disks; Variable stars; Young star clusters; Multi-color photometry; Time series analysis
Issue or Number:3
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Young stellar objects (1834); Circumstellar disks (235); Variable stars (1761); Young star clusters (1833); Multi-color photometry (1077); Time series analysis (1916)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210914-225351966
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Laura Venuti et al 2021 AJ 162 101
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:110878
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:15 Sep 2021 14:13
Last Modified:15 Sep 2021 14:13

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