Gas and Dust Associated with the Strange, Isolated Star BP Piscium

B. Zuckerman, University of California
C. Melis, University of California
Inseok Song, Gemini Observatory
Joel H. Kastner, Rochester Institute of Technology
et al.

This is the pre-print of an article published by the American Astronomical Society. The final, published version is available here:

© 2008 The American Astronomical Society.

Also archived in: arXiv:0802.0226v2 [astro-ph

]Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.


We have carried out a multi wavelength observational campaign demonstrating some of the remarkable properties of the infrared-bright variable star BP Psc. Surrounded by a compact dusty, gaseous disk, this little-studied late-G (or early- K) type star emits about 75% of its detected energy flux at infrared wavelengths.Evidence for accretion of gas in conjunction with narrow bi-polar jets and Herbig- Haro objects is apparently consistent with classification of BP Psc as a pre-main sequence star, as postulated in most previous studies. If young, then BP Psc would be one of the nearest and oldest known classical T Tauri stars. However, such an evolutionary classification encounters various problems that are absent or much less severe if BP Psc is instead a luminosity class III post-main sequence star. In this case, it would be the first known example of a first ascent giant surrounded by a massive molecular disk with accompanying rapid gas accretion and prominent jets and HH objects. In this model, the genesis of the massive dusty gaseous disk could be a consequence of the envelopment of a low mass companion star. Properties in the disk may be conducive to the current formation of planets, a gigayear or more after the formation of BP Psc itself.