This week we look at a new Gaia alert, issued a few hours ago. The object Gaia22ate is situated in the NGC1333 young cluster in Perseus. According to the Gaia announcement the source has increased it’s brightness on February 22nd, 2022, and is a known young star.
Our HOYS light curve for the source is shown in the figures above. We display our full data set in the V, R and I filters as well as a zoom into the last observing season, the winter 2021-22. In the zoomed in version we can see that our lasst available data point coincides with the Gaia alert and we detect the same increase. In particular the brightness has increased by 0.5mag in the I-band, 1.0mag in the R-band and 1.5mag in the V-band, compared to average brightness in the weeks before.
In the long term data we can see that the source varies constantly quite significantly. The range in variations is at least 2mag in the V-band and 1mag in the I-band. The typical variations seem to be dipping events, occurring a few times each year. However, there are similar short bursts like the current one. Most notable one with a similar change in brightness almost exactly two years ago. This was missed by the Gaia data due to a short duration and the low cadence of the observations.