May 2021 • 2021AJ....161..220H
Abstract • We report the discovery of a likely outbursting Class I young stellar object, associated with the star-forming region NGC 281-W (distance ∼2.8 kpc). The source is currently seen only at infrared wavelengths, appearing in both the Palomar Gattini InfraRed (1.2 μm) and the Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (3.4 and 4.6 μm) photometric time-domain surveys. Recent near-infrared imaging reveals a new, extended scattered light nebula. Recent near-infrared spectroscopy confirms the similarity of PGIR 20dci to FU Ori-type sources, based on strong molecular absorption in CO, H2O, and OH; weak absorption in several atomic lines; and a warm wind/outflow as indicated by a P Cygni profile in the He I λ10830 line. This is a rare case of an FU Ori star with a well-measured long-term photometric rise before a sharper outburst, and the second instance of an FU Ori star with a documented two-step brightening in the mid-infrared.