The history of the mysterious eclipses of KH 15D. II. Asiago, kiso, kitt peak, Mount Wilson, palomar, tautenburg, and Rozhen observatories, 1954-1997

John Asher Johnson, Joshua N. Winn, Francesca Rampazzi, Cesare Barbieri, Hiroyuki Mito, Ken Ichi Tarusawa, Milcho Tsvetkov, Ana Borisova, Helmut Meusinger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

The unusual pre-main-sequence binary star KH 15D undergoes remarkably deep and long-lasting periodic eclipses. Some clues about the reason for these eclipses have come from the observed evolution of the system's light curve over the last century. Here we present UBVRI photometry of KH 15D from 1954 to 1997 based on photographic plates from various observatories. The system has been variable at the ≈1 mag level since at least 1965. There is no evidence of color variations, with a typical limit of Δ(B - V) < 0.2 mag. We confirm some previously published results that were based on a smaller sample of plates: from approximately 1965 to 1990, the total flux was modulated with the 48 day orbital period of the binary, but the maximum flux was larger, the fractional variations were smaller, and the phase of minimum flux was shifted by almost a half-cycle relative to the modern light curve. All these results are consistent with the recently proposed theory that KH 15D is being occulted by an inclined, precessing, circumbinary ring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1978-1984
Number of pages7
JournalAstronomical Journal
Volume129
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Keywords

  • Circumstellar matter
  • Stars: individual (KH 15D)
  • Stars: pre-main-sequence
  • Techniques: photometric

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    Johnson, J. A., Winn, J. N., Rampazzi, F., Barbieri, C., Mito, H., Tarusawa, K. I., Tsvetkov, M., Borisova, A., & Meusinger, H. (2005). The history of the mysterious eclipses of KH 15D. II. Asiago, kiso, kitt peak, Mount Wilson, palomar, tautenburg, and Rozhen observatories, 1954-1997. Astronomical Journal, 129(4), 1978-1984. https://doi.org/10.1086/428597