Self-Correlation Analysis of the Photometric Variability of T Tauri Stars


T Tauri stars are variable stars that are in an early phase of evolution, in which accretion and contraction to the main sequence are still taking place. Their photometric variability is complex; it takes place on a variety of timescales, due to a variety of physical processes. Periodic variability occurs due to rotation and the presence of cool or hot spots on the star. It may also occur due to periodic obscuration of the star by inhomogeneities in the still present accretion disk. But the periodicity may be masked by other forms of variability, or by time variation in the cool or hot spots, or the obscuring inhomogeneities. For other types of variable stars, self-correlation has proven to be a useful adjunct to Fourier analysis for studying semiregular variability; it determines the cycle-to-cycle behavior of the star, averaged over all the data. We have therefore used it to investigate the photometric variability of about 30 T Tauri stars using existing data. It has provided useful information about periods and their coherence, about the amplitude of the periodic variation, or its upper limit, and about the “profile” of the amplitude-timescale behavior. In most cases, it has confirmed periods previously determined by Fourier analysis, but in some cases it has suggested that the previously determined period is spurious.

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@inproceedings{Percy2006SelfCorrelationAO, title={Self-Correlation Analysis of the Photometric Variability of T Tauri Stars}, author={John R. Percy and Wojciech Gryc and Janice C.-Y. Wong and William Herbst}, year={2006} }