AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 16 Ae Be and T Tauri Stars
Poster, Monday, January 10, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[16.12] Scattered Light and Polarized Light in Models of KH 15D

E.B. Ford, J.L. Hoffman, E.I. Chiang (UC Berkeley)

Recent analyses have suggested that the peculiar eclipses of the pre-main sequence binary star KH 15D result from occultation of the visible stellar companion by the edge of an opaque scattering screen, likely the projection of a circumbinary disk. We present the results of single- and multiple-scattering radiative transfer models of this system. Our simulations place upper limits on the mid-eclipse brightness as functions of the warp amplitude, inner radius, and albedo of an optically thick circumbinary disk; these limits suggest that the light scattered by such a disk is not sufficient to explain the observed brightness of KH 15D at mid-eclipse. A secondary scattering region (such as a jet, outer disk or halo, or stellar corona) may provide the observed light during eclipse. The occulting disk may also emit light whose contribution becomes significant when both stars are eclipsed. We calculate the flux and polarization contributions of these scenarios, and investigate their effects on the mid-eclipse brightness and polarization of the system.

E.B. Ford is supported by the Miller Institute for Basic Research at UC Berkeley. J.L. Hoffman is supported by an NSF Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship under award AST-0302123.

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