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Optical interferometry is the only technique giving access to milli-arcsecond (mas) resolution at infrared wavelengths. For Cepheids, this is a powerful and unique tool to detect the orbiting companions and the circumstellar envelopes (CSE). CSEs are interesting because they might be used to trace the Cepheid evolution history, and more particularly they could impact the distance scale. Cepheids belonging to binary systems offer an unique opportunity to make progress in resolving the Cepheid mass discrepancy. The combination of spectroscopic and interferometric measurements will allow us to derive the orbital elements, distances, and dynamical masses. Here we focus on recent results using 2- to 6-telescopes beam combiners for the Cepheids X Sgr, T Mon and V1334 Cyg.
We present distance determinations to the LMC and SMC based on long period eclipsing binary systems composed of giants. Our LMC distance provides the best zero point for the whole extragalactic distance scale, while the precise relative distance between the LMC and SMC offers unique opportunity to study populational effects on the stellar distance indicators. Apart from distances, analysis of these systems allowed us to measure with a very good accuracy basic stellar parameters (1–2% radii, masses, effective temperature, etc.) of relatively large sample of giants. This catalog provides unique opportunity to calibrate evolutionary models of giant stars.
Classical Cepheid stars have been considered since more than a century as reliable tools to estimate distances in the universe thanks to their Period-Luminosity (P-L) relationship. Moreover, they are also powerful astrophysical laboratories, providing fundamental clues for studying the pulsation and evolution of intermediate-mass stars. When in binary systems, we can investigate the age and evolution of the Cepheid, estimate the mass and distance, and constrain theoretical models. However, most of the companions are located too close to the Cepheid (∼1–40 mas) to be spatially resolved with a 10-meter class telescope. The only way to spatially resolve such systems is to use long-baseline interferometry. Recently, we have started a unique and long-term interferometric program that aims at detecting and characterizing physical parameters of the Cepheid companions, with as main objectives the determination of accurate masses and geometric distances.
The status of our work on binary classical cepheid systems in the Large Magellanic Cloud is presented. We report on results from our follow up of two eclipsing binary cepheids OGLE-LMC-CEP-0227 and OGLE-LMC-CEP-1812. Here we presented for the first time confirmation that a third cepheid OGLE-LMC-CEP-2532 is a true eclipsing binary cepheid with a period of 800 days. Two other very good candidates for eclipsing binaries detected during OGLE-IV survey are also discussed.
We present a precise and accurate measurement of the distance to the Large Magellanic Cloud based on late-type eclipsing-binary systems. Our results provide curently the most accurate zero point for the extragalactic distance scale.
The next generation of ground-based telescopes will give access to resolved stellar populations in previously unexplored environments. To highlight the potential for stellar spectroscopy using an extremely large telescope (ELT), we present data from an ongoing project with the Very Large Telescope (VLT) to calibrate a novel method of distance determination. An ELT would extend the reach of this method and would allow quantitative studies of individual stars well beyond the Local Group, sampling a wide range of galaxy morphologies and metallicities.
We apply the Barnes–Evans variant of the Baade–Wesselink method to Cepheids in the LMC and SMC in an attempt to determine the distance directly to individual stars in these galaxies and to determine the metallicity effect on the Cepheid period–luminosity relation. We now have K-band light curves for a sample of SMC stars as well as for many Cepheids in young clusters in the LMC. Using the FV, (V – K) calibration of Fouqué & Gieren (1997) we find preliminary evidence for a metallicity effect which makes metal poor Cepheids brighter. This is at odds with earlier results based on optical photometry and the reason is not entirely understood yet.
Recently Gieren (1984) has derived accurate radii and distances of a sample of short-period classical Cepheids using the surface brightness (SB) method introduced by Barnes & Evans (1976). The results indicated that the period-radius (P-R) relationship obtained from SB radii might possess a slope close to the value of 0.82 defined by the Cepheids in clusters and associations (Fernie, 1983) and in conflict with the values obtained from Baade-Wesselink radii and from theoretical models (see Fernie, 1983). Since this finding would lend considerable support to the presently accepted absolute magnitudes of the cluster Cepheids, it was decided to obtain SB radii and distances of well-observed long-period Cepheids in order to strengthen the P-R relationship obtained from the SB technique.
EU Tauri is a classical Cepheid with one of the shortest period known. A Fourier decomposition study of its V light curve by Simon S Lee (1981) revealed a peculiar position in phase-period diagrams, very similar to the star SU Cas which is probably an overtone pulsator (Gieren, 1982). This suggested the possibility that EU Tau might be another galactic overtone pulsator. In order to investigate this question, some 100 new photometric observations of this star on the UBVRI (Johnson) system were obtained with the #2 0.9m telescope of KPNO. Simultaneously, 43 CCD spectra of the star were secured on the Coudé feed telescope of KPNO which were measured for radial velocities using a correlation technique. These velocities have an internal accuracy of better than 0.5 km/s and define a complete velocity curve of EU Tau.
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