Konkoly Observatory, PO Box 67, 1525 Budapest, Hungary e-mail: email@example.com
Accepted: 27 August 2009
Aims. We study the variable star content of the globular cluster M53 to compute the physical parameters of the constituting stars and the distance of the cluster.
Methods. Covering two adjacent seasons in 2007 and 2008, new photometric data are gathered for 3048 objects in the field of M53. By using the OIS (optimal image subtraction) method and subsequently TFA (trend filtering algorithm), we search for variables in the full sample by using discrete Fourier transformation and box-fitting least squares methods. We select variables based on the statistics related to these methods combined with visual inspection.
Results. We identified 12 new variables (2 RR Lyrae stars, 7 short periodic stars – 3 of them are SX Phe stars – and 3 long-period variables). No eclipsing binaries were found in the present sample. Except for the 3 (hitherto unknown) Blazhko RR Lyrae (two RRab and an RRc) stars, no multiperiodic variables were found. We showed that after proper period shift, the PLC (period-luminosity-color) relation for the first overtone RR Lyrae sample tightly follows the one spanned by the fundamental stars. Furthermore, the slope is in agreement with that derived from other clusters. Based on the earlier Baade-Wesselink calibration of the PLC relations, the derived reddening-free distance modulus of M53 is mag, corresponding to a distance modulus of 18.5 mag for the Large Magellanic Cloud. From the Fourier parameters of the RRab stars we obtained an average iron abundance of (error of the mean). This is ~0.5 dex higher than the overall abundance of the giants as given in the literature and derived in this paper from the three-color photometry of giants. We suspect that the source of this discrepancy (observable also in other, low-metallicity clusters) is the lack of a sufficient number of low-metallicity objects in the calibrating sample of the Fourier method.
Key words: globular clusters: individual: M53 / methods: data analysis / stars: variables: general / stars: variables: RR Lyr / stars: oscillations / stars: abundances
© ESO, 2009