Absolute Magnitudes and Colors of RR Lyrae Stars in DECam Passbands from Photometry of the Globular Cluster M5

A. Katherina Vivas, Abhijit Saha, Knut Olsen, Robert Blum, Edward W. Olszewski, Jennifer Claver, Francisco Valdes, Tim Axelrod, Catherine Kaleida, Andrea Kunder, Gautham Narayan, Thomas Matheson, Alistair Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


We characterize the absolute magnitudes and colors of RR Lyrae stars in the globular cluster M5 in the ugriz filter system of the Dark Energy Camera (DECam). We provide empirical period-luminosity (P-L) relationships in all five bands based on 47 RR Lyrae stars of the type ab and 14 stars of the type c. The P-L relationships were found to be better constrained for the fundamental-mode RR Lyrae stars in the riz passbands, with dispersions of 0.03, 0.02 and 0.02 mag, respectively. The dispersion of the color at minimum light was found to be small, supporting the use of this parameter as a means to obtain accurate interstellar extinctions along the line of sight up to the distance of the RR Lyrae star. We found a trend of color at minimum light with a pulsational period that, if taken into account, brings the dispersion in color at minimum light to mag for the ≤0.016 mag for the (r - i), (i - z), and (r - z) colors. These calibrations will be very useful for using RR Lyrae stars from DECam observations as both standard candles for distance determinations and color standards for reddening measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number85
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2017


  • dust, extinction
  • globular clusters: individual (M5)
  • stars: distances
  • stars: variables: RR Lyrae

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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