We usually do not look at the same object twice in the space of a few months, but there are exceptions – today is one. About three months ago we looked at the light curve of V350Cep. In that latter post, not much interesting was visible, as it only showed the data we added after re-instating the database. Three more months have now passed and more data has been added and we show all this data in the plot above. And we can see that the star has undergone a deep dimming event and is currently getting brighter again.
We looked at this star a few times in the past (post #92, and post #160), and the source was mostly ‘boring’, but had a similar (slightly deeper) dimming event at the very start of the HOYS data. Indeed this was one of the first variable stars we identified in our data. The source used to be 4-5mag fainter, brightened throughout the 1970s, and has remained bright ever since. There are indications in the historical data (see e.g. here) of a weaker dimming event in the second half of 2009. But no others are clearly seen.
With the 2009 event, the one at the start of HOYS in 2016 and the current one (2023) there are now three and they occur roughly every 7yr. It is not clear if the three events are really caused by a clump of material orbiting further out in the disk or if these events are not related. If they are related, then the material would be at about 4.5AU from the star – right in the giant planet forming zone. Lets wait another 7yr to see if there is a fourth diming event. If so, we could speculate further …. 🙂