New accurate and homogeneous optical UBVRI photometry has been obtained for variable stars in the Galactic globular cluster ω Cen (NGC 5139). We secured 8202 CCD images covering a time interval of 24 years and a sky area of 84 × 48 arcmin. The current data were complemented with data available in the literature and provided new, homogeneous pulsation parameters (mean magnitudes, luminosity amplitudes, periods) for 187 candidate ω Cen RR Lyrae (RRLs). Among them we have 101 RRc (first overtone) and 85 RRab (fundamental) variables, and a single candidate RRd (double-mode) variable. Candidate Blazhko RRLs show periods and colors that are intermediate between the RRc and RRab variables, suggesting that they are transitional objects. A comparison of the period distribution and the Bailey diagram indicates that RRLs in ω Cen show a long-period tail not present in typical Oosterhoff II (OoII) globulars. The RRLs in dwarf spheroidals and in ultra-faint dwarfs have properties between Oosterhoff intermediate and OoII clusters. Metallicity plays a key role in shaping the above evidence. These findings do not support the hypothesis that ω Cen is the core remnant of a spoiled dwarf galaxy. Using optical period-Wesenheit relations that are reddening-free and minimally dependent on metallicity we find a mean distance to ω Cen of 13.71 ± 0.08 ± 0.01 mag (semi-empirical and theoretical calibrations). Finally, we invert the I-band period-luminosity-metallicity relation to estimate individual RRLs’ metal abundances. The metallicity distribution agrees quite well with spectroscopic and photometric metallicity estimates available in the literature. Based in part on proprietary data and on data obtained from the ESO Science Archive Facility under multiple requests by the authors; and in part upon data distributed by the NOAO Science Archive. NOAO is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. This research also benefited from the Digitized Sky Survey service provided by the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre operated by the National Research Council of Canada with the support of the Canadian Space Agency. A detailed description of the log of the observations used in this investigation is given in Table 1.

ON THE RR LYRAE STARS IN GLOBULARS. IV. ω CENTAURI OPTICAL UBVRI PHOTOMETRY

DEGL'INNOCENTI, SCILLA;PRADA MORONI, PIER GIORGIO;TOGNELLI, EMANUELE;
2016

Abstract

New accurate and homogeneous optical UBVRI photometry has been obtained for variable stars in the Galactic globular cluster ω Cen (NGC 5139). We secured 8202 CCD images covering a time interval of 24 years and a sky area of 84 × 48 arcmin. The current data were complemented with data available in the literature and provided new, homogeneous pulsation parameters (mean magnitudes, luminosity amplitudes, periods) for 187 candidate ω Cen RR Lyrae (RRLs). Among them we have 101 RRc (first overtone) and 85 RRab (fundamental) variables, and a single candidate RRd (double-mode) variable. Candidate Blazhko RRLs show periods and colors that are intermediate between the RRc and RRab variables, suggesting that they are transitional objects. A comparison of the period distribution and the Bailey diagram indicates that RRLs in ω Cen show a long-period tail not present in typical Oosterhoff II (OoII) globulars. The RRLs in dwarf spheroidals and in ultra-faint dwarfs have properties between Oosterhoff intermediate and OoII clusters. Metallicity plays a key role in shaping the above evidence. These findings do not support the hypothesis that ω Cen is the core remnant of a spoiled dwarf galaxy. Using optical period-Wesenheit relations that are reddening-free and minimally dependent on metallicity we find a mean distance to ω Cen of 13.71 ± 0.08 ± 0.01 mag (semi-empirical and theoretical calibrations). Finally, we invert the I-band period-luminosity-metallicity relation to estimate individual RRLs’ metal abundances. The metallicity distribution agrees quite well with spectroscopic and photometric metallicity estimates available in the literature. Based in part on proprietary data and on data obtained from the ESO Science Archive Facility under multiple requests by the authors; and in part upon data distributed by the NOAO Science Archive. NOAO is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation. This research also benefited from the Digitized Sky Survey service provided by the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre operated by the National Research Council of Canada with the support of the Canadian Space Agency. A detailed description of the log of the observations used in this investigation is given in Table 1.
Braga, V. F.; Stetson, P. B.; Bono, G.; Dall’Ora, M.; Ferraro, I.; Fiorentino, G.; Freyhammer, L. M.; Iannicola, G.; Marengo, M.; Neeley, J.; Valenti, E.; Buonanno, R.; Calamida, A.; Castellani, M.; da Silva, R.; Degl'Innocenti, Scilla; Di Cecco, A.; Fabrizio, M.; Freedman, W. L.; Giuffrida, G.; Lub, J.; Madore, B. F.; Marconi, M.; Marinoni, S.; Matsunaga, N.; Monelli, M.; Persson, S. E.; Piersimoni, A. M.; Pietrinferni, A.; PRADA MORONI, PIER GIORGIO; Pulone, L.; Stellingwerf, R.; Tognelli, Emanuele; Walker, A. R.
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