1 March 2012
2:30 PM

A temporal view of young stars
Ann Marie Cody

Photometric variability is a signature feature of stars in the 1-10 Myr age
range. Among the well known light curve phenomena are periodic variations
attributed to surface spots and irregular changes associated with accretion or
circumstellar disk material. While decades of photometric monitoring have
provided a framework for classifying young star variability, we still know
surprisingly little about its underlying mechanisms. Connecting photometric
activity with detailed models requires data on many different timescales and
at multiple wavelengths.

Dedicated high-precision photometric studies are now providing new
opportunities to probe conditions in and around young stars. I will present a
selection of optical and infrared time series of stars and brown dwarfs from
recent ground-based datasets, as well as from the Young Stellar Object
Variability (YSOVAR) Campaign with Spitzer. We have uncovered numerous
intriguing variability phenomena, some of which defy explanation. I will
describe some of the time series analysis techniques that we are exploring to
extract physically meaningful information from these data.

This is a work in progress, and I welcome discussion from audience members
whose studies of other astronomical objects
which could benefit from these approaches. In addition, we might consider how
high-cadence photometric campaigns may complement sensitive future variability
surveys such as the LSST, which will have >1 day cadences.