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A systematic survey for eruptive young stellar objects using mid-infrared photometry

Scholz, Alexander, Froebrich, Dirk, Wood, Kenneth (2013) A systematic survey for eruptive young stellar objects using mid-infrared photometry. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 430 (4). pp. 2910-2922. ISSN 0035-8711. (doi:10.1093/mnras/stt091) (KAR id:49556)


Accretion in young stellar objects (YSOs) is at least partially episodic, i.e. periods with high accretion rates ('bursts') are interspersed by quiescent phases. These bursts manifest themselves as eruptive variability. Here we presenta systematic survey for eruptive YSOs aiming to constrain the frequency of accretion bursts. We compare mid-infrared photometry from Spitzer and WISE separated by ~5 yr for two samples of YSOs, in nearby star-forming regions and in the Galactic plane, each comprising about 4000 young sources. All objects for which the brightness at 3.6 and 4.5 μm is increased by at least 1 mag between the two epochs may be eruptive variables and burst candidates. For these objects, we carry out follow-up observations in the near-infrared. We discover two new eruptive variables in the Galactic plane which could be FU Ori-type objects, with K-band amplitudes of more than 1.5 mag. One object known to undergo an accretion burst, V2492 Cyg, is recovered by our search as well. In addition, the young star ISO-Oph-50, previously suspected to be an eruptive object, is found to be better explained by a disc with varying circumstellar obscuration. In total, the number of burst events in a sample of 4000 YSOs is 1-4. Assuming that all YSOs undergo episodic accretion, this constraint can be used to show that phases of strong accretion (>10-6Mâ?? yr-1) occur in intervals of about 104 yr, most likely between 5000 and 50 000 yr. This is consistent with the dynamical time-scales for outflows, but not with the separations of emission knots in outflows, indicating that episodic accretion could either trigger or stop collimated large-scale outflows. © 2013 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/mnras/stt091
Additional information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society following peer review. The version of record "A systematic survey for eruptive young stellar objects using mid-infrared photometry", Alexander Scholz, Dirk Froebrich and Kenneth Wood, is available online at:
Uncontrolled keywords: accretion discs, stars, activity, brown dwarfs
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QB Astronomy > QB460 Astrophysics
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Depositing User: Giles Tarver
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2015 15:54 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:20 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Froebrich, Dirk.

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