Dynamics during outburst: VLTI observations of the young eruptive star V1647 Orionis during its 2003-2006 outburst

L. Mosoni, N. Sipos, P. Ábrahám, A. Moór, Á Kóspál, Th Henning, A. Juhász, M. Kun, Ch Leinert, S. P. Quanz, Th Ratzka, A. A. Schegerer, R. Van Boekel, S. Wolf

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Context. It is hypothesized that low-mass young stellar objects undergo eruptive phases during their early evolution. These eruptions are thought to be caused by highly increased mass accretion from the disk onto the star, and therefore play an important role in the early evolution of Sun-like stars, of their circumstellar disks (structure, dust composition), and in the formation of their planetary systems. The outburst of V1647 Ori between 2003 and 2006 offered a rare opportunity to investigate such an accretion event. Aims. By means of our interferometry observing campaign during this outburst, supplemented by other observations, we investigate the temporal evolution of the inner circumstellar structure of V1647 Ori, the region where Earth-like planets could be born. We also study the role of the changing extinction in the brightening of the object and separate it from the accretional brightening. Methods. We observed V1647 Ori with MIDI on the VLTI at two epochs in this outburst. First, during the slowly fading plateau phase (2005 March) and second, just before the rapid fading of the object (2005 September), which ended the outburst. We used the radiative transfer code MC3D to fit the interferometry data and the spectral energy distributions from five different epochs at different stages of the outburst. The comparison of these models allowed us to trace structural changes in the system on AU-scales. We also considered qualitative alternatives for the interpretation of our data. Results. We found that the disk and the envelope are similar to those of non-eruptive young stars and that the accretion rate varied during the outburst. We also found evidence for the increase of the inner radii of the circumstellar disk and envelope at the beginning of the outburst. Furthermore, the change of the interferometric visibilities indicates structural changes in the circumstellar material. We test a few scenarios to interpret these data. We also speculate that the changes are caused by the fading of the central source, which is not immediately followed by the fading of the outer regions. Conclusions. We found that most of our results fit in the canonical picture of young eruptive stars. Our study provided dynamical information from the regions of the innermost few AU of the system: changes of the inner radii of the disk and envelope. However, if the delay in the fading of the disk is responsible for the changes seen in the MIDI data, the effect should be confirmed by dynamical modeling.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA62
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Circumstellar matter
  • Infrared: stars
  • Stars: formation
  • Stars: individual: V1647 Ori
  • Techniques: interferometric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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    Mosoni, L., Sipos, N., Ábrahám, P., Moór, A., Kóspál, Á., Henning, T., Juhász, A., Kun, M., Leinert, C., Quanz, S. P., Ratzka, T., Schegerer, A. A., Van Boekel, R., & Wolf, S. (2013). Dynamics during outburst: VLTI observations of the young eruptive star V1647 Orionis during its 2003-2006 outburst. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 552, [A62]. https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201218770