Astronomers in Armenia Make New Discovery


BYURAKAN, Armenia—Astronomers from the Byurakan Astrophysical Observatory in Armenia have discovered a strong outburst of the embedded young stellar object (YSO) designated UKIDSS-J185318.36+012454.5. The researchers presented their discovery in a paper published on Dec. 30 on the arXiv preprint server, reports.

The images of UKIDSS-J185318.36+012454.5 in different wavelengths (Image: Nikoghosyan et al., 2016)

The work was done when a group of researchers led by Elena Nikoghosyan combed through the data and images provided by the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) in Hawaii to search for evidence of outburst in star forming regions. They used the archival infrared and submillimeter data from UKIRT Galactic Plane Survey (UKIDSS GPS) and found that an outburst took place in UKIDSS-J185318.36+012454.5 in the period of 2004-2006.

UKIDSS-J185318.36+012454.5 is located in the vicinity of the IRAS 18507+0121 source and most likely belongs to the massive star-forming region associated with GAL 034.4+00.23 HII region. The object is at least 5,000 light years away from the earth and its area contains massive protostars with an age of about 100,000 years, as well as a low-mass stellar population approximately 1 million years old. The stellar object was classified as an intermediate mass YSO less than 100,000 years old.

Nikoghosyan stressed the significance of the study since the results of the research allowed the scientists to reclassify UKIDSS-J185318.36+012454.5 as an eruptive variable with mixed characteristics.

“Eruptions of pre-main sequence stellar objects are rare events, thus a new outburst is always noteworthy,” said Nikoghosyan. “And I think that the discovery of a new eruptive variable UKIDSS-J185318.36+012454.5 with a so strong outburst (delta K > 5 mag) was a big success.”

According to the researchers, the discovery could provide important insights for the understanding of eruptive variability of young stars. The researchers now plan further observations of UKIDSS-J185318.36+012454.5.


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