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Published August 2002 | Published
Journal Article Open

Near-Infrared Photometric Variability of Stars toward the Chamaeleon I Molecular Cloud


We present the results of a J, H, and K_s photometric monitoring campaign of a 0.°72 × 6° area centered on the Chamaeleon I star-forming region. Data were obtained on 15 separate nights over a 4 month time interval using the Two Micron All Sky Survey south telescope. Out of a total of 34,539 sources brighter than the photometric completeness limits (J = 16.0, H = 15.2, and K_s = 14.8), 95 exhibit near-infrared variability in one or more bands. The variables can be grouped into a population of bright, red objects that are associated with the Chamaeleon I association and a population of faint, blue variables that are dispersed over the full 6° of the survey and are likely field stars or older pre–main-sequence stars unrelated to the present-day Chamaeleon I molecular cloud. Ten new candidate members of Chamaeleon I, including eight brown dwarf candidates, have been identified based on variability and/or near-infrared–excess emission in the J-H versus H-K_s color-color diagram. We also provide a compendium of astrometry and J, H, and K_s photometry for previously identified members and candidate members of Chamaeleon I.

Additional Information

© 2002. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2002 March 28. Accepted 2002 April 24. We would like to thank the 2MASS observatory staff and the data management team for acquiring and pipeline processing the special survey observations used in this investigation. This publication makes use of data products from the Two Micron All Sky Survey, which is a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation. The 2MASS science data and information services were provided by the InfraRed Science Archive at IPAC. This research has made use of the SIMBAD database, operated at CDS, Strasbourg, France. J. M. C. acknowledges support from Long Term Space Astrophysics Grant NAG 5-8217 and the Owens Valley Radio Observatory, which is supported by the National Science Foundation through grant AST 99-81546.

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August 21, 2023
October 25, 2023