This week we look at the light curve of an ‘old friend’ of the project. The young star V350Cep , situated in the NGC7129 cluster. It is a known young star in a bright state after an eruption of about 4mag in the early 1970s. Every since then, the object has remained bright with small (<1mag) variations and the occasional dimming event.

One such event (1mag deep) occurred in 2009, and we reported on another one (2mag deep) caught by HOYS and Gaia, in 2016. Since then the object is also known as Gaia16alt. In August last year we noticed another (then 1mag deep) dimming event of the object. In the light curve above, we show all the data for the last year. One can see that the object recovered to its bright state after the first dimming. Indeed it was even slightly brighter than before.

However, since then its brightness has continued to fluctuate and it seems to be undergoing a series of dimming events with large brightness fluctuations on short timescales. This indicates small scale dense structures moving in and out of the line of sight to the star. The latest data shows that it is now 2mag fainter than ‘normal’, to the point where it becomes not detected in the V-band in our images. The object has not been as dim since it’s original eruption.

Unfortunately, the object is currently in its least favourable position in the sky for observations, but it is still observable at the end of the night. Hence, please keep an eye on this field to monitor what is happening. Thank you very much.