This week we have a look at the young star 2MASS J20505039+4450115. It is situated to the North of the Pelican Nebula. It is classified as a candidate long period variable. Such a classification usually implies a giant star that pulsates or varies over longer timescales in other ways. The light curve clearly shows the source is variable, and indeed we have looked at the object before in the 63rd and 95th edition of this feature.
The object is clearly in the IC5070 star forming region based on it’s Gaia parallax. Its light curve shows variations on multiple time scales and amplitudes. As discussed the last time we looked at the source, the most striking features are the long term (~1ry) deep (~3mag – ~95% of the flux) dimming events. These are caused by material in the disk moving in front of the star. While he short duration changes are usually due to material in the inner disk (a few percent of an AU from the star), these longer term events are either caused by material much further out, or large amounts of dust moved to the inner disk that then takes time to get cleared.
As one can see, there are no clear patterns in the data. We have now had two ~1yr year long occultation events, but in the ~2yrs prior to that the star did vary by only about 1mag (factor of two) in what seems to be it’s nominal bright state. The star now has almost returned to this brightness but it is not clear if the dimming events will continue or if it will remain in this bright state. Hence, let’s finish with a quote from the last time we looked at the source and look back at it in a year’s time: “Time will tell……..”