The Metallicity Dependence of the Cepheid P-L Relation in M101

The impact of metallicity on the Cepheid Period-Luminosity (P-L) relation is investigated using HST ACS V and I images of M101. Variations in the reddening-free Wesenheit parameter (W), which is employed as a proxy for luminosity, are examined as a function of the radial distance from the center of M101 (and thus metallicity). We determine that there is no dependence of the slope on metallicity. However, the intercept is found to depend on metallicity by -0.33 +/- 0.12 mag/dex and -0.71 +/- 0.17 mag/dex using 2 and 3 sigma rejection criteria, respectively. Sigma-clipping impacts the derived metallicity dependence, and the 2-sigma criterion applied likely mitigates blending, particularly in the crowded inner regions of M101. A metallicity-corrected distance modulus of 28.96 +/- 0.11 for M101 is obtained from 619 Cepheids, a result that agrees with the recently determined SN Ia distance. The metallicity effects described can be bypassed by working at near and mid-infrared wavelengths (e.g., the Carnegie Hubble Program).

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Date added: Thu, 10 Oct 13