This week we look back at the first object posted in this feature last year. The Gaia Alert object Gaia22aai. It is situated in the Pelican Nebula (IC5070) target region, in one of the dark patches. I.e. it is most likely embedded in a denser part of the cloud. The object is near some extended nebulosity which hampers the photometry and thus there are a number of photometry outliers in this light curve. The nebulosity could be illuminated by the star itself, or of course be completely unrelated.
Last year the object got flagged up as a Gaia variable because it showed large amplitude variations and had just risen to its maximum brightness. In the light curve above, we show only the I-band data of the object. As discussed in last years post, the source varies on longer (years) timescales by several magnitudes. This is also the reason we do not show the other, shorter wavelengths data, as the source becomes non-detectable during most of the dimming events in those filters.
During the last year the source has continued its variability on a more moderate level. In essence it has dropped in brightness by almost two magnitudes and almost recovered to the level it had a year ago. These changes are overlaid by smaller, about one magnitude, variations on shorter timescales. These variations are not well covered by the Gaia data due to the short timescales. Our much better sampled light curve clearly catches these variations much better. Unfortunately all our data other than the I-Band is usually quite noisy as the source is quite faint in those filters.