SCYON Abstract

Received on August 22 2008

Assessing potential cluster Cepheids from a new distance and reddening parameterization and 2MASS photometry

AuthorsDaniel J. Majaess (1), David G. Turner (1), and David J. Lane (1,2)
Affiliation(1) Department of Astronomy and Physics, Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 3C3, Canada
(2) The Abbey Ridge Observatory, Stillwater Lake, Nova Scotia, Canada
Accepted byMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society


A framework is outlined to assess Cepheids as potential cluster members from readily available photometric observations. A relationship is derived to estimate colour excess and distance for individual Cepheids through a calibration involving recently published HST parallaxes and a cleaned sample of established cluster Cepheids. Photometric (V-J) colour is found to be a viable parameter for approximating a Cepheid's reddening. The non-universal nature of the slope of the Cepheid PL relation for BV photometry is confirmed. By comparison, the slopes of the VJ and VI relations seem relatively unaffected by metallicity. A new Galactic Cepheid confirmed here, GSC 03729-01127 (F6-G1 Ib), is sufficiently coincident with the coronal regions of Tombaugh 5 to warrant follow-up radial velocity measures to assess membership. CCD photometry and O--C diagrams are presented for GSC 03729-01127 and the suspected cluster Cepheids AB Cam and BD Cas. Fourier analysis of the photometry for BD Cas and recent estimates of its metallicity constrain it to be a Population I overtone pulsator rather than a Type II s-Cepheid. AB Cam and BD Cas are not physically associated with the spatially-adjacent open clusters Tombaugh 5 and King 13, respectively, the latter being much older (log t ~ 9) than believed previously. Rates of period change are determined for the three Cepheids from archival and published data. GSC 03729-01127 and AB Cam exhibit period increases, implying fifth and third crossings of the instability strip, respectively, while BD Cas exhibits a period decrease, indicating a second crossing, with possible superposed trends unrelated to binarity. More importantly, the observed rates of period change confirm theoretical predictions. The challenges and prospects for future work in this area of research are discussed.