Infrared variability of young solar analogues in the Lagoon Nebula

C. Ordenes-Huanca, M. Zoccali, A. Bayo, J. Cuadra, R. Contreras Ramos, L. A. Hillenbrand, I. Lacerna, S. Abarzua, C. Avendaño, P. Diaz, I. Fernandez, G. Lara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


T Tauri stars are low-mass pre-main sequence stars that are intrinsically variable. Due to the intense magnetic fields they possess, they develop dark spots on their surface that, because of rotation, introduce a periodic variation of brightness. In addition, the presence of surrounding discs could generate flux variations by variable extinction or accretion. Both can lead to a brightness decrease or increase, respectively. Here, we have compiled a catalogue of light curves for 379 T Tauri stars in the Lagoon Nebula (M8) region, using VVVX survey data in the Ks-band. All these stars were already classified as pre-MS stars based on other indicators. The data presented here are spread over a period of about eight years, which gives us a unique follow-up time for these sources at this wavelength. The light curves were classified according to their degree of periodicity and asymmetry, to constrain the physical processes responsible for their variation. Periods were compared with the ones found in literature, on a much shorter baseline. This allowed us to prove that for 126 stars, the magnetically active regions remain stable for several years. Besides, our near-IR data were compared with the optical Kepler/K2 light curves, when available, giving us a better understanding of the mechanisms responsible for the brightness variations observed and how they manifest at different bands. We found that the periodicity in both bands is in fairly good agreement, but the asymmetry will depend on the amplitude of the bursts or dips events and the observation cadence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6191-6204
Number of pages14
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • stars: formation
  • stars: pre-main-sequence
  • stars: variables: T Tauri


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