Photometric activity of UX Ori stars and related objects in the near infrared and visual. BF Ori, CQ Tau, WW Vul, and SV Cep
We have analyzed the activity of four UX Ori stars in the near-IR ( JHKL) and visual ( V) using the results of long-term photometric observations. For comparison, we also obtained IR ( JHKLM) photometric observations of two visually quiet young stars of close spectral types (AB Aur and HD 190073). For the photometrically most active UX Ori stars BF Ori, CQ Tau, and WW Vul, the Algol-like declines of brightness in the visual, which are due to sporadic enhancements of the circumstellar extinction, are also observed (with decreasing amplitude) in the IR bands. A strict correlation between the V and J brightness variations is observed for all the stars except for SV Cep. For some of the UX Ori stars, a strong correlation between the visual and IR activity is observed up to L, where the main contribution to the emission is made by circumstellar dust. In the case of SV Cep, the visual variability is not correlated with the variability of the IR fluxes. On one occasion, a clear anti-correlation was even observed: a shallow, but prolonged decrease of the visual brightness was accompanied by an increase in the IR fluxes. This indicates that circumstellar clouds themselves can become powerful sources of IR emission. Our results provide evidence that the photometric activity of UX Ori stars is a consequence of instability of the deepest layers of their gas-dust accretion disks. In some cases (SV Cep), fluctuations of the density in this region are global, in the sense that they occur along a significant part of the circle marking the inner boundary of the dust disk. It is interesting that AB Aur, which is the quietest in the visual, appeared to be the most active in the IR. In contrast to UX Ori stars, the amplitude of its brightness variations increases from the J to the M band. It follows from analysis of the IR colors of this star that their variability cannot be described by models in which the variable IR emission has a temperature close to the sublimation temperature of silicate grains (about 1500 K). This means that the photometric activity of AB Aur must be due to both the dust and gas components of the circumstellar disk.