Context. We investigate small-amplitude light variations in FU Ori occurring in timescales of days and weeks.
Aims: We seek to determine the mechanisms that lead to these light changes.
Methods: The visual light curve of FU Ori gathered by the MOST satellite continuously for 55 d in the 2013-2014 winter season and simultaneously obtained ground-based multi-colour data were compared with the results from a disc and star light synthesis model.
Results: Hotspots on the star are not responsible for the majority of observed light variations. Instead, we found that the long periodic family of 10.5-11.4 d (presumably) quasi-periods showing light variations up to 0.07 mag may arise owing to the rotational revolution of disc inhomogeneities located between 16 and 20 R⊙. The same distance is obtained by assuming that these light variations arise because of a purely Keplerian revolution of these inhomogeneities for a stellar mass of 0.7 M⊙. The short-periodic (∼3 - 1.38 d) small amplitude (∼0.01 mag) light variations show a clear sign of period shortening, similar to what was discovered in the first MOST observations of FU Ori. Our data indicate that these short-periodic oscillations may arise because of changing visibility of plasma tongues (not included in our model), revolving in the magnetospheric gap and/or likely related hotspots as well.
Conclusions: Results obtained for the long-periodic 10-11 d family of light variations appear to be roughly in line with the colour-period relation, which assumes that longer periods are produced by more external and cooler parts of the disc. Coordinated observations in a broad spectral range are still necessary to fully understand the nature of the short-periodic 1-3 d family of light variations and their period changes.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- October 2018
- accretion disks;
- stars: individual: FU Ori;
- stars: pre-main sequence;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
- Accepted to A&