Featured Image: Variable Stars in a Nearby Cluster

This 53’-wide, false-color infrared image reveals the field containing the star cluster Trumpler 37, located ~3,000 light-years away. Here, T 37 can be seen near the head of IC 1396A, the colorful, bright-rimmed globule near the center of the image. In a recent study led by Huan Meng (Steward Observatory, University of Arizona), a team of scientists has used observations from the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) spanning two full years to study the variability of stars in this young stellar cluster. The length of their study allowed them to identify 119 members of the cluster — discovering even low-mass members down to brown-dwarf size. By studying the stars in this cluster, Meng and collaborators hope to better understand what different factors drive young stellar objects like these to vary in emission — could it be changing accretion rates? Magnetic activity? Flares? Starspots? The effects of circumstellar disks? To find out what the authors learned, you can check out the article below.


“Near-infrared Variability of Low-mass Stars in IC 1396A and Tr 37,” Huan Y. A. Meng et al 2019 ApJ 878 7. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ab1b14