AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 74 Planets in Binary Star Systems, Young Stars and Jets
Poster, Tuesday, 9:20am-6:30pm, January 10, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[74.20] Pulsed Accretion in the Young Binary UZ Tau E

S. Dhital, E. L. N. Jensen (Swarthmore College), J. Patience (Caltech), R. L. Akeson (Michelson Science Center), W. Herbst (Wesleyan University)

Many close binary T Tauri stars are surrounded by circumbinary disks similar to the protoplanetary disks seen around young single stars. In the case of the binaries, however, theory predicts that the time-varying gravitational perturbations of the disk from an eccentric binary should cause the accretion to vary in time with the binary orbit. Such pulsed accretion may be visible as periodic photometric variations. We report photometric monitoring of the young spectroscopic binary UZ Tau E conducted during the 2004--2005 season using the 0.6 m Perkin Telescope at Wesleyan University. The brightness of the system was found to vary periodically with an amplitude of 0.6 magnitudes and at the binary orbital period of 19 days. The brightness of UZ Tau E shows a broad peak at orbital phase of roughly 0.6, consistent with predictions by Artymowicz & Lubow (1996) for a binary system with low orbital eccentricity. Along with similar variations seen in DQ Tau for the high-eccentricity case (Mathieu et al.\ 1996), our finding supports the theoretical prediction that material can stream across the gap between circumbinary and circumstellar disks in a binary system, potentially lengthening the planet-forming timescale in such systems.

The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of the National Science Foundation through NSF grant AST-0307830.

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