This week we have a look at the newly published (~3weeks ago) Gaia alert source Gaia24ayj. The object is situated just North of the Orion Nebula and known as variable star V414Ori. It is a candidate young stellar object and its parallax and proper motions make it a likely member of the Orion star forming region.

The Gaia data shows a ‘mildly’ varying object, that typically changes it brightness by about 10 to 20 percent at a constant baseline level. This is interspersed with infrequent (about 2 per year on average), much deeper (up to two mag) dimming events of a short duration. Similar to last week’s post, we find in our much higher cadence HOYS light curve (see above), that the dimming events are more frequent. There are at least ten events deeper than the typical baseline noise in each of the 150d long parts of the light curve that are shown.

This explains why this object is currently classified as an Orion Variable. This classification means that it erratically changes it’s brightness. While the timings of the dimming events seem to random (we are investigating this), there is however a clear structure to the light curve. The object is clearly a dipping star, i.e. one that drops its brightness for a short time below a baseline level and then recovers. A large number of such sources are misclassified due to insufficiently sampled light curves.