The history of the mysterious eclipses of KH 15d: Asiago observatory, 1967-1982

John Asherb Johnson, Joshua N. Winn

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We are gathering archival observations to determine the photometric history of the unique and unexplained eclipses of the pre-main-sequence star KH 15D. Here we present a light curve from 1967 to 1982, based on photographic plates from Asiago Observatory. During this time, the system alternated periodically between bright and faint states, as observed today. However, the bright state was 0.9 mag brighter than the modern value, and the fractional variation between bright and faint states (ΔI = 0.7 mag) was smaller than observed today (3.5 mag). A possible explanation for these findings is that the system contains a second star that was previously blended with the eclipsing star but is now completely obscured.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2344-2351
Number of pages8
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number4 1780
StatePublished - Apr 2004
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Circumstellar matter
  • Open clusters and associations: individual (NGC 2264)
  • Stars: individual (KH 15D)
  • Stars: pre-main-sequence
  • Techniques: photometric


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