Variable accretion processes in the young binary-star system uy aur

Jordan M. Stone, J. A. Eisner, Colette Salyk, Craig Kulesa, Don McCarthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We present new K-band spectroscopy of the UY Aur binary star system. Our data are the first to show H2 emission in the spectrum of UY Aur A and the first to spectrally resolve the Brγ line in the spectrum of UY Aur B. We see an increase in the strength of the Brγ line in UY Aur A and a decrease in Brγ and H2 line luminosity for UY Aur B compared to previous studies. Converting Brγ line luminosity to accretion rate, we infer that the accretion rate onto UY Aur A has increased by 2 × 10 -9 M yr-1 per year since a rate of zero was observed in 1994. The Brγ line strength for UY Aur B has decreased by a factor of 0.54 since 1994, but the K-band flux has increased by 0.9 mag since 1998. The veiling of UY Aur B has also increased significantly. These data evince a much more luminous disk around UY Aur B. If the lower Brγ luminosity observed in the spectrum of UY Aur B indicates an intrinsically smaller accretion rate onto the star, then UY Aur A now accretes at a higher rate than UY Aur B. However, extinction at small radii or mass pile-up in the circumstellar disk could explain decreased Brγ emission around UY Aur B even when the disk luminosity implies an increased accretion rate. In addition to our scientific results for the UY Aur system, we discuss a dedicated pipeline we have developed for the reduction of echelle-mode data from the ARIES spectrograph.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number56
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014


  • binaries: general
  • stars: individual (UY Aur A UY Aur B)
  • stars: variables: T Tauri Herbig Ae/Be

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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