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Astron. Astrophys. 340, 135-142 (1998)

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Photometric and polarimetric variability of the isolated T Tauri star TW Hydrae *

M.V. Mekkaden

Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bangalore - 560034, India (e-mail: mvm@iiap.ernet.in)

Received 19 August 1998 / Accepted 21 September 1998


The photometric and polarimetric observations of the isolated T Tauri star TW Hya are presented. It is found that a period 2.196 days derived from the present data satisfies all the available photometry. The steep increase in the amplitude towards shorter wavelengths indicates that the light variation is caused by hot spots. Apart from the periodic variations sudden increase in brightness of the order of 0.2 mag lasting one or two days was also noticed.

A low resolution study of the H[FORMULA] emission and Li  I 6708 Å absorption shows that the line strengths do not have any correlation with the rotational phase in TW Hya.

Since the synoptic linear polarization measurements obtained during 1990, 1991 and 1992 showed that TW Hya has variable polarization, further measurements were obtained over nine consecutive nights during 1993. The data indicate that the linear polarization in TW Hya has two components, namely, a low amplitude component which is present throughout and a large amplitude short-lived component which occurs randomly.

Key words: stars: activity – stars: individual: TW Hya – stars: pre-main sequence – stars: starspots

* Based partly on the observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, La Silla

Send offprint requests to: M.V. Mekkaden

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: November 3, 1998