EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 440, Number 2, September III 2005
Page(s) 487 - 498
Section Extragalactic astronomy
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20053067

A&A 440, 487-498 (2005)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20053067

The near-IR surface brightness method applied to six Cepheids in the young LMC cluster NGC 1866

J. Storm1, W. P. Gieren2, P. Fouqué3, T. G. Barnes III4 and M. Gómez2

1  Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam, An der Sternwarte 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
    e-mail: jstorm@aip.de
2  Universidad de Concepción, Departamento de Física, Casilla 160-C, Concepción, Chile
    e-mail: wgieren@coma.cfm.udec.cl; matias@astro-udec.cl
3  Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées, Laboratoire d'Astrophysique (UMR 5572), 14 avenue Édouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
    e-mail: pfouque@ast.obs-mip.fr
4  The University of Texas at Austin, McDonald Observatory, 1 University Station, C1402, Austin, TX 78712-0259, USA
    e-mail: tgb@astro.as.utexas.edu

(Received 15 March 2005 / Accepted 28 May 2005)

We present new near-IR light curves for six Cepheids in the young blue LMC cluster NGC 1866 as well as high precision radial velocity curves for ten Cepheids in NGC 1866 and two in NGC 2031. For the six Cepheids in NGC 1866 with new J and K light curves we determine distances and absolute magnitudes by applying the near-IR surface brightness method. We find that the formal error estimates on the derived distances are underestimated by about a factor of two. We find excellent agreement between the absolute magnitudes for the low metallicity LMC Cepheids with the Period-Luminosity (P-L) relation determined by the near-IR surface brightness (ISB) method for Galactic Cepheids suggesting that the slope of the P-L relations for low metallicity and solar metallicity samples could be very similar in contrast to other recent findings. Still there appears to be significant disagreement between the observed slopes of the OGLE based apparent P-L relations in the LMC and the slopes derived from ISB analysis of Galactic Cepheids, and by inference for Magellanic Cloud Cepheids, indicating a possible intrinsic problem with the ISB method itself. Resolving this problem could reaffirm the P-L relation as the prime distance indicator applicable as well to metallicities significantly different from the LMC value.

Key words: stars: variables: Cepheids -- galaxies: Magellanic Clouds -- stars: distances -- stars: fundamental parameters -- galaxies: distances and redshifts

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