The MACHO Project LMC Variable Star Inventory: Classical Cepheids, AGB Variables, and the Nine Million Star Color-Magnitude Diagram Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • We measure the ratio of ~ 5M blue and red LMC supergiants (representative of classical Cepheids) using the MACHO Project's 9 million star color-magnitude diagram (9M CMD) of the LMC bar. We find b/r = 0.39, which favors the Z=0.008, 5M theoretical model of Schaerer et al. (1993) over that of Fagatto et al. (1994). Next, we examine the low mass (old) and low metallicity LMC field population (Pop. II). Features in the 9M CMD and properties of LMC field RRab variables are consistent with a mean iron abundance of [Fe/H] ≈ −1.5 dex for this population. Newly discovered post-HB/early-AGB Pop. II variables are identified in order to delineate the instability strip (IS). Good agreement with the theoretical IS of Bono et al. (1997) is found. We then compare the field RRab with newly identified RRab variables in the LMC clusters NGC 1898 and NGC 1835. We find the mean colors of these cluster RRab lie near the red and blue edges of the IS, respectively, which is similar to their respective (overall) red and blue HB morphologies. Since the field RRab lie on the red side of the IS, we infer the LMC field Pop. II is likely to have a red HB morphology.

publication date

  • 1999