EDP Sciences
Free Access
Volume 415, Number 2, February IV 2004
Page(s) 531 - 547
Section Extragalactic astronomy
DOI https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20034634
Published online 11 February 2004

A&A 415, 531-547 (2004)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20034634

The effect of metallicity on the Cepheid Period-Luminosity relation from a Baade-Wesselink analysis of Cepheids in the Galaxy and in the Small Magellanic Cloud

J. Storm1, B. W. Carney2, W. P. Gieren3, P. Fouqué4, 5, D. W. Latham6 and A. M. Fry2

1  Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
    e-mail: jstorm@aip.de
2  Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, Phillips Hall, Chapel Hill, NC-27599-3255, USA
    e-mail: bruce@physics.unc.edu, anne.fry@integraonline.com
3  Universidad de Concepción, Departamento de Física, Casilla 160-C, Concepción, Chile
    e-mail: wgieren@coma.cfm.udec.cl
4  Observatoire de Paris, LESIA, 5, place Jules Janssen, 92195 Meudon Cedex, France
5  European Southern Observatory, Casilla 19001, Santiago 19, Chile
    e-mail: pfouque@eso.org
6  Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA
    e-mail: dlatham@cfa.harvard.edu

(Received 5 August 2003 / Accepted 14 November 2003)

We have applied the near-IR Barnes-Evans realization of the Baade-Wesselink method as calibrated by Fouqué & Gieren (1997) to five metal-poor Cepheids with periods between 13 and 17 days in the Small Magellanic Cloud as well as to a sample of 34 Galactic Cepheids to determine the effect of metallicity on the period-luminosity (P-L) relation. For ten of the Galactic Cepheids we present new accurate and well sampled radial-velocity curves. The Baade-Wesselink analysis provides accurate individual distances and luminosities for the Cepheids in the two samples, allowing us to constrain directly, in a purely differential way, the metallicity effect on the Cepheid P-L relation. For the Galactic Cepheids we provide a new set of P-L relations which have zero-points in excellent agreement with astrometric and interferometric determinations. These relations can be used directly for the determination of distances to solar-metallicity samples of Cepheids in distant galaxies, circumventing any corrections for metallicity effects on the zero-point and slope of the P-L relation. We find evidence for both such metallicity effects in our data. Comparing our two samples of Cepheids at a mean period of about 15 days, we find a weak effect of metallicity on the luminosity similar to that adopted by the HST Key Project on the Extragalactic Distance Scale. The effect is smaller for the V band, where we find $\Delta M_V / \Delta \mbox{[Fe/H]}$  $=
-0.21\pm0.19$ , and larger for the Wesenheit index W, where we find $\Delta M_{\rm W} / \Delta \mbox{[Fe/H]}$  $= -0.29\pm0.19$. For the  I and K bands we find $\Delta M_I / \Delta \mbox{[Fe/H]}$  $= -0.23\pm
0.19$ and $\Delta M_K / \Delta \mbox{[Fe/H]}$  $=
-0.21\pm0.19$, respectively. The error estimates are 1  $\sigma$ statistical errors. It seems now well established that metal-poor Cepheids with periods longer than about 10 days are intrinsically fainter in all these bands than their metal-rich counterparts of identical period. Correcting the LMC distance estimate of Fouqué et al. (2003) for this metallicity effect leads to a revised LMC distance modulus of $(m-M)_0 = 18.48\pm 0.07$, which is also in excellent agreement with the value of $(m-M)_0 = 18.50\pm 0.10$ adopted by the Key Project. From our SMC Cepheid distances we determine the SMC  distance to be $18.88\pm0.13$ mag irrespective of metallicity.

Key words: stars: distances -- stars: fundamental parameters -- Cepheids -- Magellanic Clouds -- distance scale

Offprint request: J. Storm, jstorm@aip.de

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