We have identified a near-infrared counterpart to the highly variable, unresolved galactic plane radio source GT 0116 + 622. This source is of particular interest, as it has been previously suggested to be the counterpart of the γ-ray source Cas γ-1. Our near-infrared and red images detect a faint, spatially extended (3″ FWHM), very red object coincident with the radio position. There is complex spatial structure which may be due in part to an unrelated superposed foreground object. Observations on multiple nights show no evidence for flux variability, despite the high amplitude variability on a timescale of days reported for the radio source. The data are consistent with an interpretation of GT 0116 + 622 as an unusually variable, obscured active galaxy at a distance of several hundred megaparsecs, although more exotic, and in particular galactic, interpretations cannot yet be ruled out. If the object is extragalactic, the previously suggested identification with the γ-ray source would seem unlikely.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science