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Session 96 - Cepheids and Supergiant Variable Stars.
Display session, Thursday, January 16
Metropolitan Ballroom,

[96.09] Improving the Direct Distance Estimates to Nearby Galaxies Using Detached Eclipsing Binaries and Cepheids. I. New Variables in M31

K. Z. Stanek (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA), J. Kaluzny (Warsaw U. Obs.), M. Mateo (U. Michigan), J. Tonry (U. Hawaii)

During September and October 1996 we have obtained 36 nights on the MDM 1.3-meter telescope to search for detached eclipsing binaries and Cepheids in the M31 galaxy. This is a first step in the ongoing program to improve the direct distance estimate to two important galaxies in the cosmological distance ladder -- M31 and M33. Detached eclipsing binaries provide us with the potential to determine these distances with an accuracy better than 5% and eventually to better than 1%. The massive photometry will provide us with good light curves for known and new Cepheid variables. These are essential to the parallel project to derive direct Baade-Wesselink distances to Cepheids in M31 and M33. With both Cepheids and eclipsing binaries the distance estimates will be free of any intermediate steps. As a by-product, numerous other types of variables (Novae, Luminous Blue Variables etc.) will be observed.

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