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We revisit the nature of large dips in flux from extinction by dusty circumstellar material that is observed by Kepler for many young stars in the Upper Sco and ρ Oph star formation regions. These young, low-mass 'dipper' stars are known to have low accretion rates and primarily hostmoderately evolved dusty circumstellar discs. Young low-mass stars often exhibit rotating starspots that cause quasi-periodic photometric variations. We found no evidence for periods associated with the dips that are different from the starspot rotation period in spectrograms constructed from the light curves. The material causing the dips in most of these light curves must be approximately corotating with the star.We find that disc temperatures computed at the disc corotation radius are cool enough that dust should not sublime. Crude estimates for stellar magnetic field strengths and accretion rates are consistent with magnetospheric truncation near the corotation radius. Magnetospheric truncation models can explain why the dips are associated with material near corotation and how dusty material is lifted out of the mid-plane to obscure the star that would account for the large fraction of young low-mass stars that are dippers. We propose that variations in disc orientation angle, stellar magnetic field dipole tilt axis and disc accretion rate are underlying parameters accounting for differences in the dipper light curves.

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Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

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