Vol. 633
6. Interstellar and circumstellar matter

A thin shell of ionized gas as the explanation for infrared excess among classical Cepheids

by V. Hocdé, N. Nardetto, E. Lagadec, et al. 2020, A&A, 633, A47

Cepheids have played a crucial role in the distance scale and determination of the present value of the Hubble constant H_0. This distance ladder is, however, mainly based on the period-luminosity relation and uncertainties around this relation are one of the largest contributors to the error of H_0. The IR excess of classical Cepheids is poorly understood but it is likely to affect the PL relation in a systematic way. The authors built a phase-independent spectral energy distribution (SED) of a sample of Cepheids from visible to mid-IR wavelengths, compared the SED to atmospheric models, and derived the IR excess features. Furthermore, they showed that the excess cannot be explained by a hot or cold dust model of the circumstellar environment. A free-free emission from a thin shell of ionized gas around Cepheids can reproduce the observed IR excess. Further investigation is needed to understand the impact of the presence of an ionized gas shell on the PL relation