Dipartimento di Astronomia, Università di Padova,
Vicolo dell'Osservatorio 2, 35122 Padova, Italy e-mail: email@example.com
2 Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Trento, Via Sommarive 14, 38123 Povo (TN), Italy
3 INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, Via E. Bianchi 46, 23807 Merate (LC), Italy
4 Universitaets-Sternwarte der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet, Scheinerstr. 1, 81679 Muenchen, Germany
5 Max-Planck-Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Giessenbachstr., 85748 Garching bei Muenchen, Germany
6 INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Vicolo dell'Osservatorio 5, 35122 Padova, Italy
Accepted: 30 September 2009
Aims. This work presents the first high-precision variability survey in the field of the intermediate-age, metal-rich open cluster NGC 6253. Clusters of this type are benchmarks for stellar evolution models.
Methods. Continuous photometric monitoring of the cluster and its surrounding field was performed over a time span of ten nights using the Wide Field Imager mounted at the ESO-MPI 2.2 m telescope. High-quality timeseries, each composed of about 800 datapoints, were obtained for 250 000 stars using ISIS and DAOPHOT packages. Candidate members were selected by using the colour-magnitude diagrams and period-luminosity-colour relations. Membership probabilities based on the proper motions were also used. The membership of all the variables discovered within a radius of 8´ from the centre is discussed by comparing the incidence of the classes in the cluster direction and in the surrounding field.
Results. We discovered 595 variables and we also characterized most of them providing their variability classes, periods, and amplitudes. The sample is complete for short periods: we classified 20 pulsating variables, 225 contact systems, 99 eclipsing systems (22 β Lyr type, 59 β Per type, 18 RS CVn type), and 77 rotational variables. The time-baseline hampered the precise characterization of 173 variables with periods longer than 4-5 days. Moreover, we found a cataclysmic system undergoing an outburst of about 2.5 mag. We propose a list of 35 variable stars as probable members of NGC 6253.
Key words: starspots / stars: statistics / stars: variables: general / binaries: eclipsing / novae, cataclysmic variables / open clusters and associations: individual: NGC 6253
Based on observation made at the European Southern Observatory, La Silla, Chile, Proposal 073.C-0227.
Timeseries and light curves are available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (220.127.116.11) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/509/A17
© ESO, 2010