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Paper: Variable Circumstellar Disks of Classical Be Stars in Clusters
Volume: 506, Bright Emissaries: Be Stars as Messengers of Star-Disk Physics
Page: 267
Authors: Gerhartz, C.; Bjorkman, K. S.; Bjorkman, J. E.; Wisniewski, J. P.
Abstract: Circumstellar disks are common among many stars, at most spectral types, and at different stages of their lifetimes. Among the near-main-sequence classical Be stars, there is growing evidence that these disks form, dissipate, and reform on timescales that differ from star to star. Using data obtained with the Large Monolithic Imager (LMI) at the Lowell Observatory Discovery Channel Telescope (DCT), along with additional complementary data obtained at the University of Toledo Ritter Observatory (RO), we have begun a long-term monitoring project of a well-studied set of galactic star clusters that are known to contain Be stars. Our goal is to develop a statistically significant sample of variable circumstellar disk systems over multiple timescales. With a robust multi-epoch study we can determine the relative fraction of Be stars that exhibit disk-loss or disk-renewal phases, and investigate the range of timescales over which these events occur. A larger sample will improve our understanding of the prevalence and nature of the disk variability, and may provide insight about underlying physical mechanisms.
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