Discovery of a long-lived, high-amplitude dusty infrared transient

C. T. Britt, T. J. Maccarone, J. D. Green, P. G. Jonker, R. I. Hynes, M. A.P. Torres, J. Strader, L. Chomiuk, R. Salinas, P. Lucas, C. Contreras Peña, R. Kurtev, C. Heinke, L. Smith, N. J. Wright, C. Johnson, D. Steeghs, G. Nelemans

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We report the detection of an infrared-selected transient which has lasted at least five years, first identified by a large mid-infrared and optical outburst from a faint X-ray source detected with the Chandra X-ray Observatory. In this paper we rule out several scenarios for the cause of this outburst, including a classical nova, a luminous red nova, AGN flaring, a stellar merger, and intermediate luminosity optical transients, and interpret this transient as the result of a young stellar object (YSO) of at least solar mass accreting material from the remains of the dusty envelope from which it formed, in isolation from either a dense complex of cold gas or massive star formation. This object does not fit neatly into other existing categories of large outbursts of YSOs (FU Orionis types) which may be a result of the object's mass, age, and environment. It is also possible that this object is a new type of transient unrelated to YSOs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2822-2833
Number of pages12
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 11 2016


  • Stars: formation
  • Stars: pre-main-sequence
  • Stars: variables: T Tauri, Herbig Ae/Be
  • Stars: variables: general
  • Stars: winds, outflows


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