Journal Article

Exploring the variable stars in the globular cluster NGC 5024 (M53): new RR Lyrae and SX Phoenicis stars*

A. Arellano Ferro, R. Figuera Jaimes, Sunetra Giridhar, D. M. Bramich, J. V. Hernández Santisteban and K. Kuppuswamy

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 416, issue 3, pages 2265-2284
Published in print September 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online September 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Exploring the variable stars in the globular cluster NGC 5024 (M53): new RR Lyrae and SX Phoenicis stars*

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We report CCD V and I time series photometry of the globular cluster NGC 5024 (M53). The technique of difference image analysis has been used which enables photometric precisions better than 10 mmag for stars brighter than V∼ 18.5 mag even in the crowded central regions of the cluster. The high photometric precision has resulted in the discovery of two new RR1 stars and 13 SX Phe stars. A detailed identification chart is given for all the variable stars in the field of our images of the cluster. Periodicities were calculated for all RR Lyrae and SX Phe stars and a critical comparison is made with previous determinations.

Out of the four probable SX Phe variables reported by Dékány & Kovács, the SX Phe nature is confirmed only for V80; V81 is an unlikely case while V82 and V83 remain as dubious cases. Previous misidentifications of three variables are corrected. Astrometric positions with an uncertainty of ∼0.3 arcsec are provided for all variables.

The light-curve Fourier decomposition of RR0 and RR1 is discussed, we find a mean metallicity of [Fe/H]=−1.92 ± 0.06 in the scale of Zinn & West from 19 RR0 stars. The true distance moduli 16.36 ± 0.05 and 16.28 ± 0.07 and the corresponding distances 18.7 ± 0.4 and 18.0 ± 0.5 kpc are found from the RR0 and RR1 stars, respectively. These values are in agreement with the theoretical period–luminosity relations for RR Lyrae stars in the I band and with recent luminosity determinations for the RR Lyrae stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC).

The age of 13.25 ± 0.50 Gyr, for NGC 5024, E(BV) = 0.02 and the above physical parameters of the cluster, as indicated from the RR0 stars, produce a good isochrone fitting to the observed colour–magnitude diagram (CMD).

The period–luminosity (PL) relation for SX Phe stars in NGC 5024 in the V and I bands is discussed in the light of the 13 newly found SX Phe stars, and their pulsation mode is identified in most cases.

Keywords: stars: variables: RR Lyrae; globular clusters: individual: NGC 5024

Journal Article.  11469 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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