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Mid-infrared Variability and Accretion in NGC 2264 Protostars

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 January 2016

S. Terebey
Affiliation:
California State University Los Angeles; email: sterebe@calstatela.edu
A. M. Cody
Affiliation:
NASA Ames Research Center;
L. M. Rebull
Affiliation:
Spitzer Science Center; California Institute of Technology
J. R. Stauffer
Affiliation:
Spitzer Science Center; California Institute of Technology
Corresponding
E-mail address:
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Abstract

Variable mass accretion is thought to be an important aspect of protostar formation. Mid-infrared wavelength observations trace variations in accretion luminosity and thus can probe mass accretion on sub-AU scales. We present results from the Spitzer YSOVAR campaign towards Class I protostars in NGC 2264. The precise (0.02 mag) medium-cadence light curves at 3.6 and 4.5 microns show that young star variability is ubiquitous, with a variety of morphologies and time scales. A structure function analysis shows the light curves, on average, have a power-law behavior up to 30 days. The trend continues to longer timescales (years) for protostars (Class I), in contrast with the smaller brightness changes displayed by T Tauri stars (Class II). The power-law behavior suggests a stochastic process, such as turbulent mass accretion, drives the variability.

Type
Contributed Papers
Copyright
Copyright © International Astronomical Union 2016 

References

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