RR Lyrae stars in the Boötes dwarf spheroidal galaxy

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We present a catalog of 15 RR Lyrae variable stars in the recently discovered Boötes dwarf spheroidal (dSph) galaxy - the most metal-poor stellar population with measured RR Lyrae stars. The pulsational properties of the RR Lyrae conform closely to period-abundance trends extrapolated from more metal-rich populations. We estimate the distance of Boötes to be (m - M)0 = 18.96 ± 0.12. The average RRob period (0.69 days), the fraction of type c pulsators (0.53), and the RRab period shift (-0.07) indicate an Oosterhoff type II classification for Boötes, a marked contrast to other dSph galaxies, which are mostly Oosterhoff intermediate. This supports the contention that the Oosterhoff dichotomy is a continuum - that RR Lyrae properties, to first order, vary smoothly with abundance. The dSph galaxies are not distinct from Galactic globular clusters but bridge the Oosterhoff gap. In contrast to other dSph galaxies, Boötes lacks any anomalous Cepheids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L83-L86
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 II
StatePublished - Oct 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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