University of Hertfordshire

From the same journal

From the same journal

By the same authors


  • P. W. Lucas
  • L. C. Smith
  • C. Contreras Pena
  • Dirk D. Froebrich
  • Janet E. Drew
  • M. S. N. Kumar
  • J. Borissova
  • D. Minniti
  • R. Kurtev
  • M. Monguio
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Original languageEnglish
Article numberstx2058
Pages (from-to)2990-3020
Number of pages31
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Early online date22 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2017


We present a catalogue of 618 high-amplitude infrared variable stars (1 < ΔK < 5 mag) detected by the two widely separated epochs of 2.2 μm data in the UKIDSS Galactic plane survey, from searches covering ∼1470 deg2. Most were discovered by a search of all fields at 30 < l < 230°. Sources include new dusty Mira variables, three new cataclysmic variable candidates, a blazar and a peculiar source that may be an interacting binary system. However, ∼60 per cent are young stellar obbjects (YSOs), based on spatial association with star-forming regions at distances ranging from 300 pc to over 10 kpc. This confirms our initial result in Contreras Peña et al. (Paper I) that YSOs dominate the high-amplitude infrared variable sky in the Galactic disc. It is also supported by recently published VISTA Variables in the Via Lactea (VVV) results at 295 < l < 350°. The spectral energy distributions of the YSOs indicate class I or flat-spectrum systems in most cases, as in the VVV sample. A large number of variable YSOs are associated with the Cygnus X complex and other groups are associated with the North America/Pelican nebula, the Gemini OB1 molecular cloud, the Rosette complex, the Cone nebula, the W51 star-forming region and the S86 and S236 H II regions. Most of the YSO variability is likely due to variable/episodic accretion on time-scales of years, albeit usually less extreme than classical FUors and EXors. Luminosities at the 2010 Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer epoch range from ∼0.1 to 103 L⊙ but only rarely exceed 102.5 L⊙.


This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. The data table for the 618 variable stars (Table 1) is available at in FITS and ascii format


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