Near-infrared photometric monitoring of the pre-main-sequence object KH 15D

Nobuhiko Kusakabe, Motohide Tamura, Yasushi Nakajima, Ryo Kandori, Akika Ishihara, Tetsuya Nagata, Takahiro Nagayama, Shogo Nishiyama, Daisuke Baba, Shuji Sato, Koji Sugitani, Edwin L. Turner, Lyu Abe, Hiroshi Kimura, Tetsuo Yamamoto

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Extensive photometric monitoring of KH 15D, an enigmatic variable in the young star cluster NGC 2264, has been conducted. Simultaneous and accurate near-infrared photometry (JHK, bands) between 2003 December and 2005 March is presented, covering most of the variable phase. The infrared variability is characterized by a large-amplitude and long-lasting eclipse, as observed in the optical. The period of variability is 48.3 ± 0.2 days, the maximum photometric amplitude of variability is ∼4.2 mag, and the eclipse duration is ∼0,5 in phase units. These are consistent with the most recent period, amplitude, and duration in the optical. The blueing of the J-H color (∼0.16 mag) during eclipse, which has been suggested before, is unambiguously confirmed; a similar blueing at H-K, is less clear but is probably present at a similar level. The overall shape of the JHK, light curves is very similar to the optical one, including a fair time symmetry and less stable flux during eclipse, with a slight hump near zero phase. Most of these variability features of KH 15D observed at near-infrared wavelengths can be explained with the recent model that employs an eclipse by an inclined, precessing disk and an outer scattering region around a pre-main-sequence binary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L139-L142
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 II
StatePublished - Oct 20 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Circumstellar matter
  • Planetary systems: protoplanetary disks
  • Stars: individual (KH 15D)
  • Stars: pre-main-sequence


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