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Title: UNTANGLING THE NEAR-IR SPECTRAL FEATURES IN THE PROTOPLANETARY ENVIRONMENT OF KH 15D

Abstract

We report on Gemini/GNIRS observations of the binary T Tauri system V582 Mon (KH 15D) at three orbital phases. These spectra allow us to untangle five components of the system: the photosphere and magnetosphere of star B, the jet, scattering properties of the ring material, and excess near-infrared (near-IR) radiation previously attributed to a possible self-luminous planet. We confirm an early-K subgiant classification for star B and show that the magnetospheric He i emission line is variable, possibly indicating increased mass accretion at certain times. As expected, the H{sub 2} emission features associated with the inner part of the jet show no variation with orbital phase. We show that the reflectance spectrum for the scattered light has a distinctive blue slope and spectral features consistent with scattering and absorption by a mixture of water and methane ice grains in the 1–50 μ m size range. This suggests that the methane frost line is closer than ∼5 au in this system, requiring that the grains be shielded from direct radiation. After correcting for features from the scattered light, jet, magnetosphere, and photosphere, we confirm the presence of leftover near-IR light from an additional source, detectable near minimum brightness. A spectral emissionmore » feature matching the model spectrum of a 10 M {sub J}, 1 Myr old planet is found in the excess flux, but other expected features from this model are not seen. Our observations, therefore, tentatively support the picture that a luminous planet is present within the system, although they cannot yet be considered definitive.« less

Authors:
; ; ;  [1];  [2]
  1. Astronomy Department, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT 06459 (United States)
  2. Gemini Observatory (North), Hilo, HI 96720 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22663984
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 834; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ABSORPTION; AUGER ELECTRON SPECTROSCOPY; BINARY STARS; CLASSIFICATION; DETECTION; EMISSION; HYDROGEN; INFRARED RADIATION; MASS; METHANE; PHOTOSPHERE; PLANETS; PROTOPLANETS; SATELLITES; SCATTERING; SPECTRA; STARS; VISIBLE RADIATION

Citation Formats

Arulanantham, Nicole A., Herbst, William, Gilmore, Martha S., Cauley, P. Wilson, and Leggett, S. K., E-mail: nicole.arulanantham@colorado.edu. UNTANGLING THE NEAR-IR SPECTRAL FEATURES IN THE PROTOPLANETARY ENVIRONMENT OF KH 15D. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/834/2/119.
Arulanantham, Nicole A., Herbst, William, Gilmore, Martha S., Cauley, P. Wilson, & Leggett, S. K., E-mail: nicole.arulanantham@colorado.edu. UNTANGLING THE NEAR-IR SPECTRAL FEATURES IN THE PROTOPLANETARY ENVIRONMENT OF KH 15D. United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/834/2/119.
Arulanantham, Nicole A., Herbst, William, Gilmore, Martha S., Cauley, P. Wilson, and Leggett, S. K., E-mail: nicole.arulanantham@colorado.edu. Tue . "UNTANGLING THE NEAR-IR SPECTRAL FEATURES IN THE PROTOPLANETARY ENVIRONMENT OF KH 15D". United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/834/2/119.
@article{osti_22663984,
title = {UNTANGLING THE NEAR-IR SPECTRAL FEATURES IN THE PROTOPLANETARY ENVIRONMENT OF KH 15D},
author = {Arulanantham, Nicole A. and Herbst, William and Gilmore, Martha S. and Cauley, P. Wilson and Leggett, S. K., E-mail: nicole.arulanantham@colorado.edu},
abstractNote = {We report on Gemini/GNIRS observations of the binary T Tauri system V582 Mon (KH 15D) at three orbital phases. These spectra allow us to untangle five components of the system: the photosphere and magnetosphere of star B, the jet, scattering properties of the ring material, and excess near-infrared (near-IR) radiation previously attributed to a possible self-luminous planet. We confirm an early-K subgiant classification for star B and show that the magnetospheric He i emission line is variable, possibly indicating increased mass accretion at certain times. As expected, the H{sub 2} emission features associated with the inner part of the jet show no variation with orbital phase. We show that the reflectance spectrum for the scattered light has a distinctive blue slope and spectral features consistent with scattering and absorption by a mixture of water and methane ice grains in the 1–50 μ m size range. This suggests that the methane frost line is closer than ∼5 au in this system, requiring that the grains be shielded from direct radiation. After correcting for features from the scattered light, jet, magnetosphere, and photosphere, we confirm the presence of leftover near-IR light from an additional source, detectable near minimum brightness. A spectral emission feature matching the model spectrum of a 10 M {sub J}, 1 Myr old planet is found in the excess flux, but other expected features from this model are not seen. Our observations, therefore, tentatively support the picture that a luminous planet is present within the system, although they cannot yet be considered definitive.},
doi = {10.3847/1538-4357/834/2/119},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
number = 2,
volume = 834,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Jan 10 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Tue Jan 10 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}
  • Photometry of the unique pre-main-sequence binary system KH 15D is presented, spanning the years 2005-2010. This system has exhibited photometric variations and eclipses over the last {approx}50 years that are attributed to the effect of a precessing circumbinary disk. Advancement of the occulting edge across the projection on the sky of the binary orbit has continued and the photospheres of both stars are now completely obscured at all times. The system has thus transitioned to a state in which it should be visible only by scattered light, and yet it continues to show a periodic variation on the orbital cyclemore » with an amplitude exceeding 2 mag. This variation, which depends only on the binary phase and not on the height of either star above or below the occulting edge, has likely been present in the data since at least 1995. It can, by itself, account for the 'shoulders' on the light curve prior to ingress and following egress, obviating to some degree the need for components of extant models such as a scattering halo around star A or forward scattering from a fuzzy disk edge. However, the spectroscopic evidence for some direct or forward scattered light from star A even when it was several stellar radii below the occulting edge shows that these components can probably not be fully removed, and raises the possibility that the occulting edge is currently more opaque than it was a decade ago, when the spectra were obtained. A plausible source for the variable scattering component is reflected light from the far side of a warped occulting disk. We have detected color changes in V - I of several tenths of a magnitude to both the blue and red that occur during times of minima. These may indicate the presence of a third source of light (faint star) within the system or a change in the reflectance properties of the disk as the portion being illuminated varies with the orbital motion of the stars. The data support a picture of the circumbinary disk as a geometrically thin, optically thick layer of perhaps millimeter- or centimeter-sized particles that has been sculpted by the binary stars and possibly other components into a decidedly nonplanar configuration. A simple (infinitely sharp) knife-edge model does a good job of accounting for all of the recent (2005-2010) occultation data when one allows for the scattered light component, the spottedness of star A, and variations from cycle to cycle in the location of the edge at the level of 0.1-0.2 stellar diameters.« less
  • We examine the light and color evolution of the T Tauri binary KH 15D through photometry obtained at wavelengths between 0.55 and 8.0 μm. The data were collected with A Novel Dual Imaging CAMera (ANDICAM) on the 1.3 m SMARTS telescope at Cerro-Tololo Inter-American Observatory and with InfraRed Array Camera on the Spitzer Space Telescope. We show that the system’s circumbinary ring, which acts as a screen that covers and uncovers different portions of the binary orbit as the ring precesses, has reached an orientation where the brighter component (star B) fully or nearly fully emerges during each orbital cycle.more » The fainter component (star A) remains fully occulted by the screen at all phases. The leading and trailing edges of the screen move across the sky at the same rate of ∼15 m s{sup −1}, consistent with expectation for a ring with a radius and width of ∼4 au and a precession period of ∼6500 years. Light and color variations continue to indicate that the screen is sharp edged and opaque at VRIJH wavelengths. However, we find an increasing transparency of the ring edge at 2.2, 3.6, and 4.5 μm. Reddening seen at the beginning of the eclipse that occurred during the CSI 2264 campaign particularly suggests selective extinction by a population of large dust grains. Meanwhile, the gradual bluing observed while star B is setting is indicative of forward scattering effects at the edge of the ring. The spectral energy distribution of the system at its bright phase shows no evidence of infrared excess emission that can be attributed to radiation from the ring or other dust component out to 8 μm.« less
  • Na I D lines in the spectrum of the young binary KH 15D have been analyzed in detail. We find an excess absorption component that may be attributed to foreground interstellar absorption, and to gas possibly associated with the solids in the circumbinary disk. The derived column density is log N{sub Na{sub I}} = 12.5 cm{sup -2}, centered on a radial velocity that is consistent with the systemic velocity. Subtracting the likely contribution of the interstellar medium leaves log N{sub Na{sub I}}{approx} 12.3 cm{sup -2}. There is no detectable change in the gas column density across the 'knife edge' formedmore » by the opaque grain disk, indicating that the gas and solids have very different scale heights, with the solids being highly settled. Our data support a picture of this circumbinary disk as being composed of a very thin particulate grain layer composed of millimeter-sized or larger objects that are settled within whatever remaining gas may be present. This phase of disk evolution has been hypothesized to exist as a prelude to the formation of planetesimals through gravitational fragmentation, and is expected to be short-lived if much gas were still present in such a disk. Our analysis also reveals the presence of excess Na I emission relative to the comparison spectrum at the radial velocity of the currently visible star that plausibly arises within the magnetosphere of this still-accreting young star.« less
  • We have obtained 48 high-resolution echelle spectra of the pre-main-sequence eclipsing binary system KH 15D (V582 Mon, P = 48.37 days, e {approx} 0.6, M{sub A} = 0.6 M{sub Sun }, M{sub B} = 0.7 M{sub Sun }). The eclipses are caused by a circumbinary disk (CBD) seen nearly edge on, which at the epoch of these observations completely obscured the orbit of star B and a large portion of the orbit of star A. The spectra were obtained over five contiguous observing seasons from 2001/2002 to 2005/2006 while star A was fully visible, fully occulted, and during several ingressmore » and egress events. The H{alpha} line profile shows dramatic changes in these time series data over timescales ranging from days to years. A fraction of the variations are due to 'edge effects' and depend only on the height of star A above or below the razor sharp edge of the occulting disk. Other observed variations depend on the orbital phase: the H{alpha} emission line profile changes from an inverse P-Cygni-type profile during ingress to an enhanced double-peaked profile, with both a blue and a red emission component, during egress. Each of these interpreted variations are complicated by the fact that there is also a chaotic, irregular component present in these profiles. We find that the complex data set can be largely understood in the context of accretion onto the stars from a CBD with gas flows as predicted by the models of eccentric T Tauri binaries put forward by Artymowicz and Lubow, Guenther and Kley, and de Val-Borro et al. In particular, our data provide strong support for the pulsed accretion phenomenon, in which enhanced accretion occurs during and after perihelion passage.« less
  • Following two years of complete occultation of both stars in the binary T Tauri star KH 15D by its opaque circumbinary ring, KH 15D has abruptly brightened again during apastron phases, reaching I = 15 mag. Here, we show that the brightening is accompanied by a change in spectral class from K6/K7 (the spectral class of star A) to {approx}K1, and a bluing of the system in V - I by about 0.3 mag. A radial velocity measurement confirms that, at apastron, we are now seeing direct light from star B, which is more luminous and of earlier spectral classmore » than star A. Evidently, the trailing edge of the occulting screen has just become tangent to one anse of star B's projected orbit. This confirms a prediction of the precession models, supports the view that the tilted ring is self-gravitating, and ushers in a new era of the system's evolution that should be accompanied by the same kind of dramatic phenomena observed from 1995 to 2009. It also promotes KH 15D from a single-lined to a double-lined eclipsing binary, greatly enhancing its value for testing pre-main-sequence models. The results of our study strengthen the case for truncation of the outer ring at around 4 AU by a sub-stellar object such as an extremely young giant planet. The system is currently at an optimal configuration for detecting the putative planet and we urge expedient follow-up observations.« less