Title

Eclipses by a Circumstellar Dust Feature in the Pre-main-Sequence Star KH 15D

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

6-20-2001

Department

Astronomy

Language

English

Publication Title

The Astrophysical Journal Letters

Abstract

Photometry and spectroscopy of the unique pre-main-sequence eclipsing object KH 15D in the young cluster NGC 2264 are presented. The orbital period is 48.34 days, and both the length (~16 days) and depth (~3 mag) of the eclipse have increased with time. A brightening near the time of central eclipse is confirmed in the recent data but at a much smaller amplitude than was originally seen. Spectra taken when the star is bright show that the primary is a weak T Tauri star of spectral type K7. During eclipse there is no detectable change in spectral type or reddening, indicating that the obscuration is caused by rather large dust grains and/or macroscopic objects. Evidently, the star is eclipsed by an extended feature in its circumstellar disk orbiting with a semimajor axis of ~0.2 AU. Continued photometric monitoring should allow us to probe the disk structure with a spatial resolution of ~3 × 106 km or better.

Comments

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DOI

10.1086/321707

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