A survey for variable young stars with small telescopes: II – mapping a protoplanetary disc with stable structures at 0.15 au

Jack J. Evitts, Dirk Froebrich (Lead / Corresponding author), Aleks Scholz, Jochen Eislöffel, Justyn Campbell-White, Will Furnell, Bringfried Stecklum, Thomas Urtly, Roger Pickard, Klaas Wiersema, Pavol A. Dubovský, Igor Kudzej, Ramon Naves, Mario Morales Aimar, Rafael Castillo García, Tonny Vanmunster, Erik Schwendeman, Francisco C. Soldán Alfaro, Stephen Johnstone, Rafael Gonzalez FarfánThomas Killestein, Jesús DelgadoCasal, Faustino García de la Cuesta, Dean Roberts, Ulrich Kolb, Luís Montoro, Domenico Licchelli, Alex Escartin Perez, Carlos Perelló Perez, Marc Deldem, Stephen R. L. Futcher, Tim Nelson, Shawn Dvorak, Dawid Mozdzierski, Nick Quinn, Krzysztof Kotysz, Katarzyna Kowalska, Przemysław Mikołajczyk, George Fleming, Mark Phillips, Tony Vale, Franky Dubois, Ludwig Logie, Steve Rau, Siegfried Vanaverbeke, Barry Merrikin, Esteban Fernández Mañanes, Emery Erdelyi, Juan-Luis Gonzalez Carballo, Fernando Limon Martinez, Timothy P. Long, Adolfo San Segundo Delgado, Josép Luis Salto González, Luis Tremosa Espasa, Georg Piehler, James Crumpton, Samuel J. Billington, Emma D’Arcy, Sally V. Makin, Lord Dover

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The HOYS citizen science project conducts long-term, multifilter, high-cadence monitoring of large YSO samples with a wide variety of professional and amateur telescopes. We present the analysis of the light curve of V1490 Cyg in the Pelican Nebula. We show that colour terms in the diverse photometric data can be calibrated out to achieve a median photometric accuracy of 0.02 mag in broad-band filters, allowing detailed investigations into a variety of variability amplitudes over time-scales from hours to several years. Using Gaia DR2, we estimate the distance to the Pelican Nebula to be 870 +7055 pc. V1490 Cyg is a quasi-periodic dipper with a period of 31.447 ± 0.011 d. The obscuring dust has homogeneous properties, and grains larger than those typical in the ISM. Larger variability on short time-scales is observed in U and Rc−H α, with U amplitudes reaching 3 mag on time-scales of hours, indicating that the source is accreting. The H α equivalent width and NIR/MIR colours place V1490 Cyg between CTTS/WTTS and transition disc objects. The material responsible for the dipping is located in a warped inner disc, about 0.15 au from the star. This mass reservoir can be filled and emptied on time-scales shorter than the period at a rate of up to 10−10 M yr−1, consistent with low levels of accretion in other T Tauri stars. Most likely, the warp at this separation from the star is induced by a protoplanet in the inner accretion disc. However, we cannot fully rule out the possibility of an AA Tau-like warp, or occultations by the Hill sphere around a forming planet.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-198
Number of pages15
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Early online date20 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • Herbig Ae/Be
  • Pre-main sequence
  • Stars: formation
  • Stars: individual: V 1490 Cyg
  • Stars: variables: T Tauri

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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