In some planet formation theories, protoplanets grow gravitationally within a young star's protoplanetary disk, a signature of which may be a localized disturbance in the disk's radial and/or vertical structure. Using time-series photometric observations by the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope South project and the All-Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae, combined with archival observations, we present the discovery of two extended dimming events of the young star, DM Ori. This young system faded by ∼1.5 mag from 2000 March to 2002 August and then again in 2013 January until 2014 September (depth ∼1.7 mag). We constrain the duration of the 2000-2002 dimming to be < 860 days, and the event in 2013-2014 to be < 585 days, separated by ∼12.5 years. A model of the spectral energy distribution indicates a large infrared excess consistent with an extensive circumstellar disk. Using basic kinematic arguments, we propose that DM Ori is likely being periodically occulted by a feature (possibly a warp or perturbation) in its circumstellar disk. In this scenario, the occulting feature is located >6 au from the host star, moving at ∼14.6 km s-1 and is ∼4.9 au in width. This localized structure may indicate a disturbance such as that which may be caused by a protoplanet early in its formation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science