EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 504, Number 3, September IV 2009
Page(s) 959 - 972
Section Stellar structure and evolution
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/200811464
Published online 16 July 2009
A&A 504, 959-972 (2009)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/200811464

Observational studies of Cepheid amplitudes

I. Period-amplitude relationships for Galactic Cepheids and interrelation of amplitudes
P. Klagyivik1, 2 and L. Szabados2

1  Loránd Eötvös University, Department of Astronomy, 1518 Budapest, PO Box 32, Hungary
    e-mail: klagyi@konkoly.hu
2  Konkoly Observatory, 1525 Budapest XII, PO Box 67, Hungary

Received 3 December 2008 / Accepted 2 June 2009

Context. The dependence of amplitude on the pulsation period differs from other Cepheid-related relationships.
Aims. We attempt to revise the period-amplitude (P-A) relationship of Galactic Cepheids based on multi-colour photometric and radial velocity data. Reliable P-A graphs for Galactic Cepheids constructed for the U, B, V, $R_{\rm C}$, and $I_{\rm C}$ photometric bands and pulsational radial velocity variations facilitate investigations of previously poorly studied interrelations between observable amplitudes. The effects of both binarity and metallicity on the observed amplitude, and the dichotomy between short- and long-period Cepheids can both be studied.
Methods. A homogeneous data set was created that contains basic physical and phenomenological properties of 369 Galactic Cepheids. Pulsation periods were revised and amplitudes were determined by the Fourier method. P-A graphs were constructed and an upper envelope to the data points was determined in each graph. Correlations between various amplitudes and amplitude-related parameters were searched for, using Cepheids without known companions.
Results. Large amplitude Cepheids with companions exhibit smaller photometric amplitudes on average than solitary ones, as expected, while s-Cepheids pulsate with an arbitrary (although small) amplitude. The ratio of the observed radial velocity to blue photometric amplitudes, $A_{V_{\rm RAD}}/A_B$, is not as good an indicator of the pulsation mode as predicted theoretically. This may be caused by an incorrect mode assignment to a number of small amplitude Cepheids, which are not necessarily first overtone pulsators. The dependence of the pulsation amplitudes on wavelength is used to identify duplicity of Cepheids. More than twenty stars previously classified as solitary Cepheids are now suspected to have a companion. The ratio of photometric amplitudes observed in various bands confirms the existence of a dichotomy among normal amplitude Cepheids. The limiting period separating short- and long-period Cepheids is 10.47 days.
Conclusions. Interdependences of pulsational amplitudes, the period dependence of the amplitude parameters, and the dichotomy have to be taken into account as constraints in modelling the structure and pulsation of Cepheids. Studies of the P-L relationship must comply with the break at 10$\fd$47 instead of the currently used “convenient” value of 10 days.

Key words: Cepheids -- stars: fundamental parameters -- astronomical data bases: miscellaneous

© ESO 2009

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