The anomalous Cepheid XZ Ceti
Konkoly Observatory of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, 1525 Budapest XII, PO Box 67, Hungary e-mail: email@example.com
2 School of Physics A28, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Accepted: 31 August 2006
Aims. XZ Ceti is the only known anomalous Cepheid in the Galactic field. Being the nearest and brightest such variable star, a detailed study of XZ Ceti may shed light on the behaviour of anomalous Cepheids whose representatives have been mostly detected in external galaxies.
Methods. CCD photometric and radial velocity observations have been obtained. The actual period and amplitude of pulsation were determined by Fourier analysis. The long timescale behaviour of the pulsation period was studied by the method of the O–C diagram using the archival Harvard photographic plates and published photometric data.
Results. XZ Ceti differs from the ordinary classical Cepheids in several respects. Its most peculiar feature is cycle-to-cycle variability of the light curve. The radial velocity phase curve is not stable either. The pulsation period is subjected to strong changes on various timescales, including a very short one. The ratio of amplitudes determined from the photometric and radial velocity observations indicates that this Cepheid performs an overtone pulsation, in accord with the other known anomalous Cepheid in our Galaxy, BL Boo (V19 in the globular cluster NGC 5466).
Conclusions. Continued observations are necessary to study the deviations from regularity to determine their timescale, as well as to confirm the binarity of XZ Ceti and to study its role in the observed peculiar behaviour.
Key words: Cepheids / stars: evolution / stars: individual: XZ Cet / stars: individual: BL Boo / binaries: spectroscopic
© ESO, 2006