Gas and dust associated with the strange, isolated star BP piscium

B. Zuckerman, C. Melis, Inseok Song, David S. Meier, Marshall D. Perrin, Bruce Macintosh, Christian Marois, Alycia J. Weinberger, Joseph H. Rhee, James R. Graham, Joel H. Kastner, Patrick Palmer, T. Forveille, E. E. Becklin, D. J. Wilner, T. S. Barman, G. W. Marcy, M. S. Bessell

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23 Scopus citations


We have carried out a multiwavelength observational campaign demonstrating some of the remarkable properties of the infrared-bright variable star BP Psc. Surrounded by a compact dusty, gaseous disk, this little-studied late G (or early K) type star emits about 75% of its detected energy flux at infrared wavelengths. Evidence for accretion of gas in conjunction with narrow bipolar jets and Herbig-Haro objects is apparently consistent with classification of BP Psc as a pre-main-sequence star, as postulated in most previous studies. If young, then BP Psc would be one of the nearest and oldest known classical T Tauri stars. However, such an evolutionary classification encounters various problems that are absent or much less severe if BP Psc is instead a luminosity class III post-main-sequence star. In this case, it would be the first known example of a first-ascent giant surrounded by a massive molecular disk with accompanying rapid gas accretion and prominent jets and HH objects. In this model, the genesis of the massive dusty gaseous disk could be a consequence of the envelopment of a low-mass companion star. Properties in the disk may be conducive to the current formation of planets, a gigayear or more after the formation of BP Psc itself.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1085-1103
Number of pages19
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 20 2008


  • Planetary systems: protoplanetary disks
  • Stars: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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