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Published September 1, 2008 | Published
Journal Article Open

The peculiar periodic YSO WL 4 in ρ Ophiuchus


We present the discovery of 130.87 day periodic near-infrared flux variability for the Class II T Tauri star WL 4 (=2MASS J16271848–2429059, ISO-Oph 128). Our data are from the 2MASS Calibration Point Source Working Database and constitute 1580 observations in J, H, and K_s of a field in ρ Ophiuchus used to calibrate the 2MASS All-Sky Survey. We identify a light curve for WL 4 with eclipse amplitudes of ~0.4 mag lasting more than one-quarter the period and color variations in J–H and H–Ks of ~0.1 mag. The long period cannot be explained by stellar rotation. We propose that WL 4 is a triple YSO system, with an inner binary orbital period of 130.87 days. We posulate that we are observing each component of the inner binary alternately being eclipsed by a circumbinary disk with respect to our line of sight. This system will be useful in investigating terrestrial-zone YSO disk properties and dynamics at ~1 Myr.

Additional Information

© 2008 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2007 September 6; accepted 2008 July 25; published 2008 August 7. This publication makes extensive use of data products from 2MASS, which is a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and IPAC/California Institute of Technology, funded by NASA and NSF. This research has made use of the NASA/ IPAC Infrared Science Archive, which is operated by Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with NASA. Thanks to Mike Meyer, Mike Werner, Angelle Tanner, and Eric Agol for their conversations and comments. Parts of the research described in this publication were carried out at JPL.

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