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Detection of a Proto-planetary Clump in the Habitable Zone of GM Cephei

  • W. P. Chen (a1), S. C.-L. Hu (a1) (a2) and the YETI Collaboration

Abstract

GM Cephei is an active T Tauri star in the young open cluster Trumpler 37, showing abrupt UX Orionis type of photometric variability. Its light curves exhibit frequent, sporadic brightening events, each of <0.5 mag and lasting for days, which must have been originated from unsteady circumstellar accretion. In addition, the star undergoes a brightness drop up to ~1 mag lasting for about a month, during which the star became bluer when fainter. Moreover, the brightness drops seem to have a recurrence timescale of about 300 days. It is proposed that the brightness drop arises from obscuration of the central star by an orbiting dust concentration, exemplifying disk inhomogeneity in transition between grain coagulation and planetesimal formation in a young circumstellar disk. GM Cep was found to show a few percent polarization in the optical wavelengths, and an enhanced level of polarization during the occultation phase.

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Detection of a Proto-planetary Clump in the Habitable Zone of GM Cephei

  • W. P. Chen (a1), S. C.-L. Hu (a1) (a2) and the YETI Collaboration

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