Accretion variability from minute to decade timescales in the classical T Tauri star CR Cha - INSU - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers Access content directly
Journal Articles Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A Year : 2022

Accretion variability from minute to decade timescales in the classical T Tauri star CR Cha

G. Zsidi
  • Function : Author
C. F. Manara
  • Function : Author
Á. Kóspál
  • Function : Author
G. A. J. Hussain
  • Function : Author
P. Ábrahám
  • Function : Author
A. Bódi
  • Function : Author
A. Pál
  • Function : Author
P. Sarkis
  • Function : Author


Context. Classical T Tauri stars are pre-main-sequence stars that are surrounded by a circumstellar disk from which they accrete material. The mass accretion process is essential in the formation of Sun-like stars. Although often described with simple and static models, the accretion process is inherently time variable.
Aims: We examine the accretion process of the low-mass young stellar object CR Cha on a wide range of timescales from minutes to a decade by analyzing both photometric and spectroscopic observations from 2006, 2018, and 2019.
Methods: We carried out a period analysis of the light curves of CR Cha from the TESS mission and the ASAS-SN and the ASAS-3 databases. We studied the color variations of the system using I, J, H, K-band photometry obtained contemporaneously with the TESS observing window. We analyzed the amplitude, timescale, and the morphology of the accretion tracers found in a series of high-resolution spectra obtained in 2006 with the AAT/UCLES, in 2018 with the HARPS, and in 2019 with the ESPRESSO and the FEROS spectrographs.
Results: All photometric data reveal periodic variations compatible with a 2.327-day rotational period. In addition, the ASAS-SN and ASAS-3 data indicate a long-term brightening by 0.2 mag between 2001 and 2008, and a slightly lower brightening than 0.1 mag in the 2015-2018 period. The near-infrared photometry indicates a short-term brightening trend during the observations in 2019. The corresponding color variations can be explained either by a changing accretion rate or changes in the inner disk structure. The Hα line profile variability suggests that the amplitude variations of the central peak, likely due to accretion, are most significant on daily or hourly timescales. On yearly timescales, the line morphology also changes significantly.
Conclusions: The photometric variability shows that the period of about 2.3 days is stable in the system over decades. Our results show that the amplitude of the variations in the Hα emission increases on timescales from hours to days or weeks, after which it remains similar even at decadal timescales. On the other hand, we found significant morphological variations on yearly or decadal timescales, indicating that the different physical mechanisms responsible for the line profile changes, such as accretion or wind, are present to varying degrees at different times.

Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory under ESO programs 2103.C-5025, 0103.A-9008, and 0100.C-0708(A).

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Dates and versions

insu-03705362 , version 1 (27-06-2022)



G. Zsidi, C. F. Manara, Á. Kóspál, G. A. J. Hussain, P. Ábrahám, et al.. Accretion variability from minute to decade timescales in the classical T Tauri star CR Cha. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, 2022, 660, ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/202142203⟩. ⟨insu-03705362⟩
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