Skip to main content

Multi-Wavelength Photometry of the T Tauri Binary V582 Mon (KH 15D): A New Epoch of Occultations

We present multi-wavelength (VRIJHK) observations of KH 15D obtained in 2012/13, as well as a master table of standard photometry spanning the years 1967 to 2013. The system is a close, eccentric T Tauri binary embedded in an inclined precessing circumbinary (CB) ring. The most recent data show the continued rise of star B with respect to the trailing edge of the occulting horizon as the system's maximum brightness steadily increases. The wealth of data in time and wavelength domains allows us to track the long-term CCD color evolution of KH 15D. We find that the V-I behavior is consistent with direct and scattered light from the composite color of two stars with slightly different temperatures. There is no evidence for any reddening or bluing associated with extinction or scattering by ISM-sized dust grains. Furthermore, we probe the system's faint phase behavior at near-infrared wavelengths in order to investigate extinction properties of the ring and signatures of a possible shepherding planet sometimes invoked to confine the CB ring at ~ 5 AU. The wavelength independence of eclipse depth at second contact is consistent with the ring material being fully opaque to 2.2 microns. The color-magnitude diagrams demonstrate excess flux in J and H at low light levels, which may be due to the presence of a hot, young Jupiter-mass planet.

Authors: Diana Windemuth, William Herbst

Read the abstract and pre-print on arXiv

AAVSO 49 Bay State Rd. Cambridge, MA 02138 aavso@aavso.org 617-354-0484