Direct Distances to Cepheids in the Large Magellanic Cloud: Evidence for a Universal Slope of the Period‐Luminosity Relation up to Solar Abundance

Wolfgang Gieren, Jesper Storm, Thomas G. Barnes III, Pascal Fouque, Grzegorz Pietrzyński, Francesco Kienzle
2005 Astrophysical Journal  
We have applied the infrared surface brightness (ISB) technique to derive distances to 13 Cepheids in the LMC which span a period range from 3 to 42 days. From the absolute magnitudes of the variables calculated from these distances, we find that the LMC Cepheids define tight period-luminosity relations in the V, I, W, J and K bands which agree exceedingly well with the corresponding Galactic PL relations derived from the same technique, and are significantly steeper than the LMC PL relations
more » ... LMC PL relations in these bands observed by the OGLE-II Project in V, I and W, and by Persson et al. in J and K. We find that the tilt-corrected true distance moduli of the LMC Cepheids show a significant dependence on period, which hints at a systematic error in the ISB technique related to the period of the stars. We identify as the most likely culprit the p-factor which converts the radial into pulsational velocities; our data imply a much steeper period dependence of the p-factor than previously thought, and we derive p=1.58 (+/-0.02) -0.15 (+/-0.05) logP as the best fit from our data, with a zero point tied to the Milky Way open cluster Cepheids. Using this revised p-factor law, the period dependence of the LMC Cepheid distance moduli disappears, and at the same time the Milky Way and LMC PL relations agree among themselves, and with the directly observed LMC PL relations, within the 1 sigma uncertainties. Our main conclusion is that the previous, steeper Galactic PL relations were caused by an erroneous calibration of the p-factor law, and that there is now evidence that the slope of the Cepheid PL relation is independent of metallicity up to solar metallicity, in both optical, and near-infrared bands.
doi:10.1086/430496 fatcat:vtso42ez6zhv5finbo5yp66a4e