Gregory J. Herczeg, Subo Dong, Benjamin J. Shappee, Ping Chen, Lynne A. Hillenbrand, Jessy Jose, Christopher S. Kochanek, Jose L. Prieto, K. Z. Stanek, Kyle Kaplan, Thomas W.S. Holoien, Steve Mairs, Doug Johnstone, Michael Gully-Santiago, Zhaohuan Zhu, Martin C. Smith, David Bersier, Gijs D. Mulders, Alexei V. Filippenko, Kazuya AyaniJoseph Brimacombe, Jonathan S. Brown, Michael Connelley, Jussi Harmanen, Ryosuke Itoh, Koji S. Kawabata, Hiroyuki Maehara, Koji Takata, Heechan Yuk, Weikang Zheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Outbursts on young stars are usually interpreted as accretion bursts caused by instabilities in the disk or the star-disk connection. However, some protostellar outbursts may not fit into this framework. In this paper, we analyze optical and near-infrared spectra and photometry to characterize the 2015 outburst of the probable young star ASASSN-15qi. The ∼3.5 mag brightening in the V band was sudden, with an unresolved rise time of less than one day. The outburst decayed exponentially by 1 mag for 6 days and then gradually back to the pre-outburst level after 200 days. The outburst is dominated by emission from ∼10,000 K gas. An explosive release of energy accelerated matter from the star in all directions, seen in a spectacular cool, spherical wind with a maximum velocity of 1000 km s-1. The wind and hot gas both disappeared as the outburst faded and the source returned to its quiescent F-star spectrum. Nebulosity near the star brightened with a delay of 10-20 days. Fluorescent excitation of H2 is detected in emission from vibrational levels as high as v = 11, also with a possible time delay in flux increase. The mid-infrared spectral energy distribution does not indicate the presence of warm dust emission, though the optical photospheric absorption and CO overtone emission could be related to a gaseous disk. Archival photometry reveals a prior outburst in 1976. Although we speculate about possible causes for this outburst, none of the explanations are compelling.

Original languageEnglish
Article number133
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - 10 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Stars: formation
  • Stars: pre-main sequence
  • Stars: variables: general
  • Stars: winds, outflows


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