In a previous paper, we reported on the discovery of more than a hundred new Cepheid variables in the Sculptor Group spiral galaxy NGC 300 from wide-field images taken in the B and Vphotometric bands at ESO/La Silla. In this paper, we present additional VI data, derive improved periods and mean magnitudes for the variables, and construct period-luminosity relations in the V, I, and the reddening-independent V - I Wesenheit bands using 58 Cepheid variables with periods between 11 and 90 days. We obtain tightly defined relations, and by fitting the slopes determined for the LMC Cepheids by the OGLE II Project we obtain reddening-corrected distances to the galaxy in all bands, which show a slight offset to each other in the sense that the Wesenheit relation yields the smallest distance, whereas the I- and V-band distances are larger by 0.094 and 0.155 mag, respectively. We adopt as our best value the distance derived from the reddening-free Wesenheit magnitudes, which is 26.43 ± 0.04(random) ±0.05 (systematic) mag. The distance moduli from both the Vand I bands agree perfectly with the Wesenheit value if one assumes an additional reddening of E(B - V) = 0.05 mag intrinsic to NGC 300, in addition to the Galactic foreground reddening toward NGC 300 of 0.025 mag. Such a modest intrinsic reddening is supported by recent Hubble Space Telescope (HST) images of NGC 300, which show that this galaxy is relatively dustfree but also reveal that there must be some dust absorption in NGC 300. We argue that our current distance result for NGC 300 is the most accurate that has so far been obtained using Cepheid variables and that it is largely free from systematic effects due to metallicity, blending, and sample selection. It agrees very well with the recent distance determination from the tip of the red giant branch method obtained from HST data by Butler and coworkers, and it is consistent with the Cepheid distance to NGC 300 that was derived by Freedman and coworkers from CCD photometry of a smaller sample of stars.
Áreas temáticas de ASJC Scopus
- Astronomía y astrofísica
- Ciencias planetarias y espacial