High-resolution infrared imaging and spectroscopy of the Z Canis Majoris system during quiescence and outburst

Sasha Hinkley*, Lynne Hillenbrand, Ben R. Oppenheimer, Emily L. Rice, Laurent Pueyo, Gautam Vasisht, Neil Zimmerman, Adam L. Kraus, Michael J. Ireland, Douglas Brenner, Charles Beichman, Richard Dekany, Jennifer E. Roberts, Ian R. Parry, Lewis C. Roberts, Justin R. Crepp, Rick Burruss, J. Kent Wallace, Eric Cady, Chengxing ZhaiMichael Shao, Thomas Lockhart, Rémi Soummer, Anand Sivaramakrishnan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


We present adaptive optics photometry and spectra in the JHKL bands along with high spectral resolution K-band spectroscopy for each component of the Z Canis Majoris system. Our high angular resolution photometry of this very young (≲1 Myr) binary, comprised of an FU Ori object and a Herbig Ae/Be star, was gathered shortly after the 2008 outburst while our high-resolution spectroscopy was gathered during a quiescent phase. Our photometry conclusively determines that the outburst was due solely to the embedded Herbig Ae/Be member, supporting results from earlier works, and that the optically visible FU Ori component decreased slightly (∼30%) in luminosity during the same period, consistent with previous works on the variability of FU Ori type systems. Further, our high-resolution K-band spectra definitively demonstrate that the 2.294 μm CO absorption feature seen in composite spectra of the system is due solely to the FU Ori component, while a prominent CO emission feature at the same wavelength, long suspected to be associated with the innermost regions of a circumstellar accretion disk, can be assigned to the Herbig Ae/Be member. These findings clarify previous analyses of the origin of the CO emission in this complex system.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL9
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2013

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2013 The American Astronomical Society. Firstly published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, 763(1), L9, 2013, published by IOP Publishing. The original publication is available at http://www.doi.org/10.1088/2041-8205/763/1/L9. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'High-resolution infrared imaging and spectroscopy of the Z Canis Majoris system during quiescence and outburst'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this