Fine structure in the circumstellar environment of a young, solar-like star: The unique eclipses of KH 15D

William Herbst*, Catrina M. Hamilton, Frederick J. Vrba, Mansur A. Ibrahimov, Coryn A.L. Bailer-Jones, Reinhard Mundt, Markus Lamm, Tsevi Mazeh, Zodiac T. Webster, Karl E. Haisch, Eric C. Williams, Andrew H. Rhodes, Thomas J. Balonek, Alexander Scholz, Arno Riffeser

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Results of an international campaign to photometrically monitor the unique pre-main-sequence eclipsing object KH 15D are reported. An updated ephemeris for the eclipse is derived that incorporates a slightly revised period of 48.36 days. There is some evidence that the orbital period is actually twice that value, with two eclipses occurring per cycle. The extraordinary depth (∼3.5 mag) and duration (∼18 days) of the eclipse indicate that it is caused by circumstellar matter, presumably the inner portion of a disk. The eclipse has continued to lengthen with time, and the central brightness reversals are not as extreme as they once were. V-R and V-I colors indicate that the system is slightly bluer near minimum light. Ingress and egress are remarkably well modeled by the passage of a knife edge across a limb-darkened star. Possible models for the system are briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1167-1172
Number of pages6
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Volume114
Issue number801
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

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