Cepheid mass-luminosity relations from the Magellanic Clouds

J. P. Beaulieu, J. R. Buchler, Z. Kolláth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Citations (Scopus)


The OGLE data base is used in conjunction with Kurucz atmosphere models to generate sets of period, effective temperature and luminosity for fundamental and overtone Magellanic Cloud Cepheids. The Florida pulsation code (with linear turbulent convection) is then used to compute masses for these stars, assuming an average composition of (X = 0.716, Z = 0.010) for the LMC and of (X = 0.726, Z = 0.004) for the SMC. The average M-L relation for the fundamental Cepheids matches closely that for the first overtone Cepheids for each Magellanic Cloud. Neither the SMC nor the LMC average Log M-Log L relations are straight, but have a noticeable curvature. In view of the uncertainties in distance and reddening we have adopted three different choices for these quantities. The results based on the "long" distance scale to the clouds give a better agreement between theory and observations than the "short" one. All the current evolutionary tracks predict systematically larger masses for given luminosities than our observationally derived ones, especially at the high end. Moreover, our study confirms that the evolutionary tracks of the low mass stars in SMC are not in agreement with the observations as they do not extend sufficiently blueward and do not penetrate deep enough into the instability strip, or not at all. The inference of masses directly from the observational database yields a novel and strong constraint on evolutionary calculations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-172
Number of pages9
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Stars: Cepheids
  • Stars: evolution, Magellanic Clouds, distance moduli
  • Stars: oscillations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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