Spots, flares, accretion, and obscuration in the pre-main sequence binary DQ Tau

DQ Tau is a young low-mass spectroscopic binary, consisting of two almost equal-mass stars on a 15.8 day period surrounded by a circumbinary disk. We analyzed DQ Tau’s light curves obtained by Kepler K2, the Spitzer Space Telescope, and ground-based facilities. We observed variability phenomena, including rotational modulation by stellar spots, energetic stellar flares, brightening events around periastron due to increased accretion, and short dips due to temporary circumstellar obscuration. The study on DQ Tau will help in discovering and understanding the formation and evolution of other real-world examples of “Tatooine-like” systems. This is especially important because more and more evidence points to the possibility that all Sun-like stars were born in binary or multiple systems that broke up later due to dynamical interactions.