YSOVAR: Mid-infrared Variability in NGC 1333

L. M. Rebull, J. R. Stauffer, A. M. Cody, H. M. Günther, L. A. Hillenbrand, K. Poppenhaeger, S. J. Wolk, J. Hora, J. Hernandez, A. Bayo, K. Covey, J. Forbrich, R. Gutermuth, M. Morales-Calderón, P. Plavchan, I. Song, H. Bouy, S. Terebey, L. E. Allen

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As part of the Young Stellar Object VARiability (YSOVAR) program, wemonitored NGC 1333 for ∼35 days at 3.6 and 4.5 μm using theSpitzer Space Telescope. We report here on the mid-infrared variabilityof the point sources in the ∼10‧ × ∼20‧ areacentered on 03:29:06, +31:19:30 (J2000). Out of 701 light curves ineither channel, we find 78 variables over the YSOVAR campaign. Abouthalf of the members are variable. The variable fraction for the mostembedded spectral energy distributions (SEDs) (Class I, flat) is higherthan that for less embedded SEDs (Class II), which is in turn higherthan the star-like SEDs (Class III). A few objects have amplitudes(10–90th percentile brightness) in [3.6] or [4.5] > 0.2 mag; amore typical amplitude is 0.1–0.15 mag. The largest color changeis >0.2 mag. There are 24 periodic objects, with 40% of them beingflat SED class. This may mean that the periodic signal is primarily fromthe disk, not the photosphere, in those cases. We find 9 variableslikely to be “dippers,” where texture in the disk occultsthe central star, and 11 likely to be “bursters,” whereaccretion instabilities create brightness bursts. There are 39 objectsthat have significant trends in [3.6]–[4.5] color over thecampaign, about evenly divided between redder-when-fainter (consistentwith extinction variations) and bluer-when-fainter. About a third of the17 Class 0 and/or jet-driving sources from the literature are variableover the YSOVAR campaign, and a larger fraction (∼half) are variablebetween the YSOVAR campaign and the cryogenic-era Spitzer observations(6–7 years), perhaps because it takes time for the envelope torespond to changes in the central source. The NGC 1333 brown dwarfs donot stand out from the stellar light curves in any way except there is amuch larger fraction of periodic objects (∼60% of variable browndwarfs are periodic, compared to ∼30% of the variables overall).
Original languageEnglish
Article number175
Number of pages37
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number6
Early online date17 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


  • circumstellar matter
  • stars: pre-main sequence
  • stars: protostars
  • stars: variables: general


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