Young Stellar Objects, Accretion Disks, and Their Variability with Rubin Observatory LSST

R. Bonito, L. Venuti, S. Ustamujic, P. Yoachim, R. A. Street, L. Prisinzano, P. Hartigan, M. G. Guarcello, K. G. Stassun, T. Giannini, E. D. Feigelson, A. Caratti o Garatti, S. Orlando, W. I. Clarkson, P. McGehee, E. C. Bellm, J. E. Gizis

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Vera C. Rubin Observatory, through the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST), will allow us to derive a panchromatic view of variability in young stellar objects (YSOs) across all relevant timescales. Indeed, both short-term variability (on timescales of hours to days) and long-term variability (months to years), predominantly driven by the dynamics of accretion processes in disk-hosting YSOs, can be explored by taking advantage of the multiband filters option available in Rubin LSST, in particular the u, g, r, i filters that enable us to discriminate between photospheric stellar properties and accretion signatures. The homogeneity and depth of sky coverage that will be achieved with LSST will provide us with a unique opportunity to characterize the time evolution of disk accretion as a function of age and varying environmental conditions (e.g., field crowdedness, massive neighbors, metallicity) by targeting different star-forming regions. In this contribution to the Rubin LSST Survey Strategy Optimization Focus Issue, we discuss how implementing a dense observing cadence to explore short-term variability in YSOs represents a key complementary effort to the Wide-Fast-Deep observing mode that will be used to survey the sky over the full duration of the main survey (≈10 yr). The combination of these two modes will be vital to investigate the connection between the inner-disk dynamics and longer-term eruptive variability behaviors, such as those observed on EX Lupi-type objects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number27
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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