A Caltech Library Service

A Model for (Quasi-)Periodic Multiwavelength Photometric Variability in Young Stellar Objects

Kesseli, Aurora Y. and Petkova, Maya A. and Wood, Kenneth and Whitney, Barbara A. and Hillenbrand, L. A. and Gregory, Scott G. and Stauffer, J. R. and Morales-Calderon, M. and Rebull, L. and Alencar, S. H. P. (2016) A Model for (Quasi-)Periodic Multiwavelength Photometric Variability in Young Stellar Objects. Astrophysical Journal, 828 (1). Art. No. 42. ISSN 0004-637X.

[img] PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


We present radiation transfer models of rotating young stellar objects (YSOs) with hot spots in their atmospheres, inner disk warps, and other three-dimensional effects in the nearby circumstellar environment. Our models are based on the geometry expected from magneto-accretion theory, where material moving inward in the disk flows along magnetic field lines to the star and creates stellar hot spots upon impact. Due to rotation of the star and magnetosphere, the disk is variably illuminated. We compare our model light curves to data from the Spitzer YSOVAR project to determine if these processes can explain the variability observed at optical and mid-infrared wavelengths in young stars. We focus on those variables exhibiting "dipper" behavior that may be periodic, quasi-periodic, or aperiodic. We find that the stellar hot-spot size and temperature affects the optical and near-infrared light curves, while the shape and vertical extent of the inner disk warp affects the mid-IR light curve variations. Clumpy disk distributions with non-uniform fractal density structure produce more stochastic light curves. We conclude that magneto-accretion theory is consistent with certain aspects of the multiwavelength photometric variability exhibited by low-mass YSOs. More detailed modeling of individual sources can be used to better determine the stellar hot-spot and inner disk geometries of particular sources.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Kesseli, Aurora Y.0000-0002-3239-5989
Stauffer, J. R.0000-0003-3595-7382
Rebull, L.0000-0001-6381-515X
Additional Information:© 2016. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2016 January 6; revised 2016 June 28; accepted 2016 June 29; published 2016 August 26. We thank the reviewer for a careful and thorough report that clarified many points in our manuscript.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Subject Keywords:stars: pre-main sequence – stars: variables: T Tauri, Herbig Ae/Be
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20161128-131055045
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Aurora Y. Kesseli et al 2016 ApJ 828 42
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:72321
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:28 Nov 2016 21:56
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

Repository Staff Only: item control page