period–luminosity relation

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A statistical relationship between the period of a pulsating variable and its luminosity. For classical Cepheids and W Virginis stars, the relationship is approximately linear: the longer the period, the greater the luminosity. Classical Cepheids show a greater colour dependence, so it is preferable to use a period–luminosity–colour relation. Mira stars have a non-linear PL relation, but it is well-established and useful for determining distances within the Galaxy. The Cepheid PL relation is the basis of the traditional method of determining distances to nearby galaxies.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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