Observational studies of Cepheid amplitudes
Astronomy and Astrophysics
Aims: We attempt to revise the period-amplitude (P-A) relationship of Galactic Cepheids based on multi-colour photometric and radial velocity data. Reliable P-A graphs for Galactic Cepheids constructed for the U, B, V, R_C, and I_C photometric bands and pulsational radial velocity variations facilitate investigations of previously poorly studied interrelations between observable amplitudes. The effects of both binarity and metallicity on the observed amplitude, and the dichotomy between short-
... omy between short- and long-period Cepheids can both be studied. Results: Large amplitude Cepheids with companions exhibit smaller photometric amplitudes on average than solitary ones, as expected, while s-Cepheids pulsate with an rbitrary (although small) amplitude. The ratio of the observed radial velocity to blue photometric amplitudes, A_V_RAD/A_B, is not as good an indicator of the ulsation mode as predicted theoretically. This may be caused by an incorrect mode assignment to a number of small amplitude Cepheids, which are not ecessarily first overtone pulsators. The dependence of the pulsation amplitudes on wavelength is used to identify duplicity of Cepheids. More than twenty stars previously classified as solitary Cepheids are now suspected to have a companion. The ratio of photometric amplitudes observed in various bands confirms the existence of a dichotomy among normal amplitude Cepheids. The limiting period separating short- and long-period Cepheids is 10.47 days. Conclusions: Interdependences of pulsational amplitudes, the period dependence of the amplitude parameters, and the dichotomy have to be taken into account as constraints in modelling the structure and pulsation of Cepheids. Studies of the P-L relationship must comply with the break at 10.47 instead of the currently used 'convenient' value of 10 days.