Astrophysics and Space Science

, Volume 326, Issue 2, pp 219–231

The PL calibration for Milky Way Cepheids and its implications for the distance scale

Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10509-009-0258-5

Cite this article as:
Turner, D.G. Astrophys Space Sci (2010) 326: 219. doi:10.1007/s10509-009-0258-5


The rationale behind recent calibrations of the Cepheid PL relation using the Wesenheit formulation is reviewed and reanalyzed, and it is shown that recent conclusions regarding a possible change in slope of the PL relation for short-period and long-period Cepheids are tied to a pathological distribution of HST calibrators within the instability strip. A recalibration of the period-luminosity relation is obtained using Galactic Cepheids in open clusters and groups, the resulting relationship, described by log L/L=2.415(±0.035)+1.148(±0.044)log P, exhibiting only the moderate scatter expected from color spread within the instability strip. The relationship is confirmed by Cepheids with HST parallaxes, although without the need for Lutz-Kelker corrections, and in general by Cepheids with revised Hipparcos parallaxes, albeit with concerns about the cited precisions of the latter. A Wesenheit formulation of WV=−2.259(±0.083)−4.185(±0.103)log P for Galactic Cepheids is tested successfully using Cepheids in the inner regions of the galaxy NGC 4258, confirming the independent geometrical distance established for the galaxy from OH masers. Differences between the extinction properties of interstellar and extragalactic dust may yet play an important role in the further calibration of the Cepheid PL relation and its application to the extragalactic distance scale.

Stars: variables: Cepheids Galaxy: open clusters and associations: general Stars: fundamental parameters 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Astronomy and PhysicsSaint Mary’s UniversityHalifaxCanada

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