Name/Affiliation: Ann Marie Cody (IPAC)
The Coordinated Synoptic Investigation of NGC 2264
Young stellar objects (YSOs) are notorious for displaying brightness variations of <1-100% on a variety of timescales from hours to years. Understanding the origin of these variations can help illuminate the structure of their magnetospheres and inner circumstellar disks. The Coordinated Synoptic Investigation of NGC 2264 ("CSI 2264") has recently revolutionized our view of YSO variability by providing high-precision, >30-day optical and infrared light curves on thousands of T Tauri stars. With a sampling interval of one hour or less in our time series, we have resolved many previously unappreciated light curve features, including rapid fading events as well as brief flux bursts. We present new statistical metrics that can successfully distinguish eight different categories of light curve morphology. The physical origin of some of these categories is understood (e.g., starspots, eclipses), but the mechanisms behind other types of light curve behavior have yet to be fully elucidated. We will show how high-resolution spectroscopy can aid in understanding the physical conditions pertaining to YSOs.