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Title: OCCULTATION OF THE T TAURI STAR RW AURIGAE A BY ITS TIDALLY DISRUPTED DISK

RW Aur A is a classical T Tauri star, believed to have undergone a reconfiguration of its circumstellar environment as a consequence of a recent flyby of its stellar companion, RW Aur B. This interaction stripped away part of the circumstellar disk of RW Aur A, leaving a tidally disrupted ''arm'' and a short truncated circumstellar disk. We present photometric observations of the RW Aur system from the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope survey showing a long and deep dimming that occurred from 2010 September until 2011 March. The dimming has a depth of ∼2 mag, a duration of ∼180 days, and was confirmed by archival observations from American Association of Variable Star Observers. We suggest that this event is the result of a portion of the tidally disrupted disk occulting RW Aur A, specifically a fragment of the tidally disrupted arm. The calculated transverse linear velocity of the occulter is in excellent agreement with the measured relative radial velocity of the tidally disrupted arm. Using simple kinematic and geometric arguments, we show that the occulter cannot be a feature of the RW Aur A circumstellar disk, and we consider and discount other hypotheses. We also place constraints on the thicknessmore » and semimajor axis of the portion of the arm that occulted the star.« less
Authors:
;  [1] ; ; ;  [2] ; ;  [3]
  1. Department of Physics, Fisk University, 1000 17th Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37208 (United States)
  2. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Vanderbilt University, 6301 Stevenson Center, Nashville, TN 37235 (United States)
  3. Department of Astronomy, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22273308
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astronomical Journal (New York, N.Y. Online); Journal Volume: 146; Journal Issue: 5; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ASTRONOMY; ASTROPHYSICS; ECLIPSE; LIMITING VALUES; PROTOPLANETS; RADIAL VELOCITY; T TAURI STARS; TELESCOPES