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A population of eruptive variable protostars in VVV

Contreras Peña, C., Lucas, P. W., Minniti, D., Kurtev, R., Stimson, W., Molina, C. Navarro, Borissova, J., Kumar, M. S. N., Thompson, M.A., Gledhill, T., and others. (2016) A population of eruptive variable protostars in VVV. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 465 (3). pp. 3011-3038. ISSN 0035-8711. (doi:10.1093/mnras/stw2801) (KAR id:58436)


We present the discovery of 816 high-amplitude infrared variable stars (?Ks > 1 mag) in 119 deg2 of the Galactic mid-plane covered by the VISTA Variables in the Via Lactea (VVV) survey. Almost all are new discoveries and about 50?per?cent are young stellar objects (YSOs). This provides further evidence that YSOs are the commonest high-amplitude infrared variable stars in the Galactic plane. In the 2010–2014 time series of likely YSOs, we find that the amplitude of variability increases towards younger evolutionary classes (class I and flat-spectrum sources) except on short time-scales (<25 d) where this trend is reversed. Dividing the likely YSOs by light-curve morphology, we find 106 with eruptive light curves, 45 dippers, 39 faders, 24 eclipsing binaries, 65 long-term periodic variables (P > 100 d) and 162 short-term variables. Eruptive YSOs and faders tend to have the highest amplitudes and eruptive systems have the reddest spectral energy distribution (SEDs). Follow-up spectroscopy in a companion paper verifies high accretion rates in the eruptive systems. Variable extinction is disfavoured by the two epochs of colour data. These discoveries increase the number of eruptive variable YSOs by a factor of at least 5, most being at earlier stages of evolution than the known FUor and EXor types. We find that eruptive variability is at least an order of magnitude more common in class I YSOs than class II YSOs. Typical outburst durations are 1–4 yr, between those of EXors and FUors. They occur in 3–6 per cent of class I YSOs over a 4 yr time span.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/mnras/stw2801
Uncontrolled keywords: stars: AGB and post-AGB, stars: low-mass, stars: pre-main-sequence, stars: protostars, stars: variables: T Tauri, Herbig Ae/Be, infrared: stars
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy > QB460 Astrophysics
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Natural Sciences > Physics and Astronomy
Depositing User: Dirk Froebrich
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2016 10:44 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 10:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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Froebrich, Dirk.

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