NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011A-0103

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Proposal Information for 2011A-0103


PI: Howard E. Bond, Space Telescope Science Institute, bond@stsci.edu
Address: 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA

Title: A Search for Reflection Nebulae around Galactic Cepheids

Abstract: I have underway an \it HST program of polarimetric imaging of the spectacular variable reflection nebula around the luminous Galactic Cepheid RS Puppis. My team has shown that it is possible to derive geometric distances based on light echoes around variable stars, using polarimetry to identify nebular knots with high linear polarization that therefore must lie in the plane of the sky. RS Pup is unique among Cepheids in being known to be surrounded by a dust reflection nebula. I am proposing to use NOAO and SMARTS telescopes in the northern and southern hemispheres for a systematic CCD survey of Galactic Cepheids in search of more reflection nebulae. To the best of my knowledge, such a search has not been carried out using modern CCD detectors. If successful, this survey could lead to further \it HST observations and geometric distances to these cosmic yardsticks. It would also provide new information on mass loss during the evolution of Cepheids and their progenitors.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011A-0103

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