Wednesday, March 20, 2013

1303.4138 (W. J. de Wit et al.)

An active asteroid belt causing the UX Ori phenomenon in RZ Psc    [PDF]

W. J. de Wit, V. P. Grinin, I. S. Potravnov, D. N. Shakhovskoi, A. Müller, M. Moerchen
We report the discovery of mid-infrared excess emission in the young object RZ Psc. The excess constitutes ~8% of its Lbol, and is well fit by a single 500K black-body implying a dust free region within 0.7AU for optically thick dust. The object displays dust obscuration events (UXOR behaviour) with a time-scale that suggests dusty material on orbits of 0.5AU. We also report a 12.4 year cyclical photometric variability which can be interpreted as due to perturbations in the dust distribution. The system is characterized by a high inclination, marginal extinction (during bright photometric states), a single temperature for the warm dust, and an age estimate which puts the star beyond the formation stage. We propose that the dust occultation events present a dynamical view of an active asteroid belt whose collisional products sporadically obscure the central star.
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