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Published December 2020 | Published + Submitted
Journal Article Open

Periodic Eruptive Variability of the Isolated Pre-main-sequence Star V347 Aurigae


V347 Aurigae is associated with the small dark cloud L1438 and appears to be an isolated pre-main-sequence star located at distance d ≈ 200 pc. Multi-epoch, archival photometry reveals periodic brightness variations with amplitude V ≈ 2.0 mag occurring on timescales of ~160 days that have persisted for decades. Regular-cadence, optical imaging of the source with the Zwicky Transient Facility shows that a small reflection nebula illuminated by V347 Aur also fluctuates in brightness, at times fading completely. Multi-epoch, Keck/HIRES data suggests the presence of two distinct spectral components: a prominent emission-line-dominated spectrum with a heavily veiled continuum correlated with the bright photometric state, and an M-type absorption line spectrum associated with quiescence. All spectra exhibit strong Balmer and He i line emission, consistent with accretion, as well as high velocity emission arising from the forbidden transitions of [O i], [N ii], and [S ii] that are generally associated with collimated jets and disk winds. There is no evidence in existing high-dispersion spectroscopy or high-resolution imaging for binarity of V347 Aur. The repeating outburst events are possibly linked to accretion instabilities induced by an undetected companion or a structure within the circumstellar disk that periodically increases the mass accretion rate. V347 Aur is perhaps analogous to an EXor-type variable, though more regularly recurring.

Additional Information

© 2020 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2020 September 4; revised 2020 September 29; accepted 2020 October 6; published 2020 November 23. We thank the anonymous referee for helpful comments that improved this manuscript. S. E. D. is deeply indebted to G. H. Herbig, who suggested that V347 Aur be targeted for future observations. Herbig provided S. E. D. with a short summary of his high-dispersion spectra of V347 Aur obtained using HIRES on the Keck I telescope between 2003 and 2005. This paper has made use of the Digitized Sky Surveys, which were produced at the Space Telescope Science Institute under U.S. Government grant NAG W-2166, the SIMBAD database operated at CDS, Strasbourg, France, and the 2MASS, a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)/California Institute of Technology, funded by NASA and the National Science Foundation. This publication makes use of data products from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, which 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. Some of the data presented herein were obtained at the W.M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation. The Pan-STARRS1 Surveys (PS1) and the PS1 public science archive have been made possible through contributions by the Institute for Astronomy, the University of Hawaii, the Pan-STARRS Project Office, the Max-Planck Society and its participating institutes, the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg and the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching, The Johns Hopkins University, Durham University, the University of Edinburgh, the Queen's University Belfast, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network Incorporated, the National Central University of Taiwan, the Space Telescope Science Institute, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under grant No. NNX08AR22G issued through the Planetary Science Division of the NASA Science Mission Directorate, the National Science Foundation grant No. AST-1238877, the University of Maryland, Eotvos Lorand University (ELTE), the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. ZTF is supported by the National Science Foundation and a collaboration including Caltech, IPAC, the Weizmann Institute for Science, the Oskar Klein Center at Stockholm University, the University of Maryland, the University of Washington, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron and Humboldt University, Los Alamos National Laboratories, the TANGO Consortium of Taiwan, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories. Operations are conducted by COO, IPAC, and UW.

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Published - Dahm_2020_AJ_160_278.pdf

Submitted - 2010.02996.pdf


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