The MACHO project LMC variable star inventory. 1: Beat Cepheids-conclusive evidence for the excitation of the second overtone in classical Cepheids Academic Article uri icon

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  • We report the discovery of 45 beat Cepheids in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) using the MACHO Project photometry database. The variables which are pulsating simultaneously in two radial modes are shown to break cleanly into two period-ratio groups, providing the first unambiguous evidence that the second overtone is indeed excited in real Cepheids. Thirty stars are beating in the fundamental and first overtone mode (F/1H, with a period ratio in the neighborhood of 0.72), and fifteen stars are beating in the first and second overtone (1H/2H, with a period ratio near 0.80). The F/1H period ratios are systematically higher than known Galactic beat Cepheids, indicating a metallicity dependence whose sense is in agreement with theory. Beat Cepheids in the LMC are found to select the 1H/2H mode for fundamental periods shorter than 1.25 days. We find the fraction of Cepheids excited in two modes to be about 20\% for stars with fundamental periods shorter than 2.5 days. We fail to confirm any of the proposed beat Cepheid candidates common to our sample from the surveys of Andreasen (1987) and Andreasen \& Petersen (1987). We also present finder charts and find several of the beat Cepheids to be in or near LMC clusters.


  • Alcock, C
  • Allsman, RA
  • Axelrod, TS
  • Bennett, DP
  • Cook, KH
  • Freeman, KC
  • Griest, K
  • Marshall, SL
  • Peterson, BA
  • Pratt, MR
  • Quinn, PJ
  • Reimann, J
  • Rodgers, AW
  • Stubbs, CW
  • Sutherland, W
  • Welch, Douglas L

publication date

  • April 1995