Welcome to the first light curve of the week in 2022, marking the start of the fourth year of this feature. Depending on your point of view, this weeks object is either hot of the press or an old friend of the project. We show the light curve of Gaia22aai – the 9th Gaia alert target of the year, or otherwise know as 2MASS J20503695+4421408. Gaia flagged the object up due to large amplitude variability, and it is a know T-Tauri star, situated in the Pelican Nebula field in Cygnus.
Indeed, we have looked at this star before. In particular in the light curve of the week #64 from April 2020. This was in the old days, were these posts were only placed on our Facebook page (see here for the link). When we looked at the star then, it just seemed to be finishing a 800 day long deep dimming event. As you can see in the current light curve, the source did not finish its occultation. It rather stopped about one magnitude from its bright state. Only now, another 600 or so days later, it has seemingly returned to its bright state. Thus, the entire dimming event has lasted almost 1500 days – so far.
There are quite a few outlier data points in the light curve. These are erroneous measurements, which have not been cleaned yet. These are most likely caused by the bright-ish nebulosity just East of the star. Such features cause difficulties in the background estimate in the automated photometry. It could be that the nebulosity is associated with the star itself, or a chance projection. Might be worth checking if it changes its brightness in the same way as the star.