The outburst of the eruptive young star OO Serpentis between 1995 and 2006

Á Kóspál, P. Ábrahám, T. Prusti, J. Acosta-Pulido, S. Hony, A. Moór, R. Siebenmorgen

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34 Citations (Scopus)


Aims. OO Serpentis is a deeply embedded pre-main sequence star in the Serpens NW star-forming region. The star went into outburst in 1995 and gradually faded afterwards. In many respects its eruption resembled the well-known FU Orionis-type (FUor) or EX Lupi-type (EXor) outbursts. Since very few such events have ever been documented at infrared wavelengths, our aim is to study the temporal evolution of OO Ser in the infrared. Methods. OO Ser was monitored with the infrared Space Observatory in the 3.6-100μm wavelength range, starting 4 months after peak brightness and covering a period of 20 months. Eight years later, in 2004-2006 we again observed OO Ser at 2.2 and 12 μm from the ground and complemented this dataset with archival Spitzer observations also from 2004. We analysed these data with special attention to source confusion and constructed light curves at 10 different wavelengths as well as spectral energy distributions. Results. The outburst caused brightening in the whole infrared regime. According to the infrared light curves, OO Ser started a wavelength-independent fading after the peak brightness. Later the flux decay became slower but stayed practically wavelength-independent. The fading is still ongoing, and current fading rates indicate that OO Ser will not return to quiescent state before 2011. The outburst timescale of OO Ser seems to be shorter than that of FUors, but longer than that of EXors. Conclusions. The outburst timescale and the moderate luminosity suggest that OO Ser is different from both FUors and EXors, and shows some similarities to the recently erupted young star V1647 Ori. Based on its SED and bolometric temperature, OO Ser seems to be an early class I object, with an age of <105 yr. As proposed by outburst models, the object is probably surrounded by an accretion disc and a dense envelope. This picture is also supported by the wavelength-independence of the fading. Due to the shorter outburst timescales, models developed for FUors can only work for OO Ser if the viscosity parameter in the circumstellar disc, α, is set to an order of magnitude higher value than usual for FUors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-219
Number of pages9
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2007



  • Infrared: stars
  • Stars: circumstellar matter
  • Stars: individual: OO Serpentis
  • Stars: pre-main sequence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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