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Periodic Accretion from a Circumbinary Disk in the Young Binary UZ Tau E

Jensen, Eric L. N. and Dhital, Saurav and Stassun, Keivan G. and Patience, Jenny and Herbst, William and Walter, Frederick M. and Simon, Michal and Basri, Gibor (2007) Periodic Accretion from a Circumbinary Disk in the Young Binary UZ Tau E. Astronomical Journal, 134 (1). pp. 241-251. ISSN 0004-6256.

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Close pre-main-sequence binary stars are expected to clear central holes in their protoplanetary disks, but the extent to which material can flow from the circumbinary disk across the gap onto the individual circumstellar disks has been unclear. In binaries with eccentric orbits, periodic perturbation of the outer disk is predicted to induce mass flow across the gap, resulting in accretion that varies with the binary period. This accretion may manifest itself observationally as periodic changes in luminosity. Here we present a search for such periodic accretion in the pre-main-sequence spectroscopic binary UZ Tau E. We present BVRI photometry spanning 3 years; we find that the brightness of UZ Tau E is clearly periodic, with a best-fit period of 19.16 ± 0.04 days. This is consistent with the spectroscopic binary period of 19.13 days, refined here from analysis of new and existing radial velocity data. The brightness of UZ Tau E shows significant random variability, but the overall periodic pattern is a broad peak in enhanced brightness, spanning more than half the binary orbital period. The variability of the Hα line is not as clearly periodic, but given the sparseness of the data, some periodic component is not ruled out. The photometric variations are in good agreement with predictions from simulations of binaries with orbital parameters similar to those of UZ Tau E, suggesting that periodic accretion does occur from circumbinary disks, replenishing the inner circumstellar disks and possibly extending the timescale over which they might form planets.

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Jensen, Eric L. N.0000-0002-4625-7333
Stassun, Keivan G.0000-0002-3481-9052
Additional Information:© 2007. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2007 January 29; accepted 2007 March 22; published 2007 May 23. Print publication: Issue 1 (2007 July). We gratefully acknowledge the support of the National Science Foundation through grant AST 03-07830. We thank the referee, Steve Lubow, for useful comments that improved this paper. We are grateful to Michael Meyer, David Cohen, and Larry Marschall for useful discussions; to Marcos Huerta and Pat Hartigan for use of their spectra of UZ Tau E; to Matthew Richardson for assistance with data reduction; to Peter Collings for translating early papers on UZ Tau from German to English; and to Thierry Forveille for use of his ORBIT code. M. S. and F. W. are grateful for Stony Brook University's partial support of their participation in the SMARTS consortium. This research has made use of the SIMBAD database, operated at CDS, Strasbourg, France, and of NASA's Astrophysics Data System.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSFAST 03-07830
State University of New York, Stony BrookUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:accretion, accretion disks; binaries: spectroscopic; circumstellar matter; planetary systems: protoplanetary disks; stars: individual (UZ Tauri E); stars: pre-main sequence
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Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:JENaj07a
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ID Code:12799
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:24 Dec 2008 18:32
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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