NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011B-0433

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Proposal Information for 2011B-0433


PI: James Muzerolle, STScI, muzerol@stsci.edu
Address: 3700 San Martin Dr., Baltimore, MD 21218, USA

CoI: Kevin Flaherty, University of Arizona
CoI: Zoltan Balog, MPIA
CoI: Tracy Beck, STScI
CoI: Elise Furlan, JpL
CoI: Robert Gutermuth, Smith College

Title: Periodic Protostellar Variability: Testing the Pulsed Accretion Hypothesis

Abstract: We have discovered extraordinary infrared variability in the protostar LRLL 54361, a member of the IC 348 star forming region. The near- and mid-infrared continuum flux of this source increases periodically by an order of magnitude every 25 days. We propose to obtain multi-epoch K band spectroscopy and imaging with Gemini to better understand the origins of these variations. Specifically, multi-epoch measurements of the Br(gamma) emission line, a direct probe of the protostellar accretion luminosity, will allow us to test the hypothesis that the repeating outbursts are indicative of a dynamically-modulated accretion flow onto a central binary system. In combination with our extensive \it Spitzer and \it HST measurements, the proposed observations will help constrain the nature of the dynamic environment of young star/disk systems at the earliest stages of their evolution.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011B-0433

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