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 Physics , 2014, DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/799/1/46 Abstract: Classical Cepheids are useful tracers of the Galactic young stellar population because their distances and ages can be determined from their period-luminosity and period-age relations. In addition, the radial velocities and chemical abundance of the Cepheids can be derived from spectroscopic observations, providing further insights into the structure and evolution of the Galaxy. Here, we report the radial velocities of classical Cepheids near the Galactic Center, three of which were reported in 2011, the other reported for the first time. The velocities of these Cepheids suggest that the stars orbit within the Nuclear Stellar Disk, a group of stars and interstellar matter occupying a region of 200 pc around the Center, although the three-dimensional velocities cannot be determined until the proper motions are known. According to our simulation, these four Cepheids formed within the Nuclear Stellar Disk like younger stars and stellar clusters therein.
 Physics , 2009, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.15096.x Abstract: Classical and Type II Cepheids are used to reinvestigate specific properties of the Galaxy. A new Type II reddening-free Cepheid distance parameterization is formulated from LMC Cepheids (OGLE), with uncertainties typically no larger than 5-15%. A distance to the Galactic centre of R0=7.8+-0.6 kpc is derived from the median distance to Type II Cepheids in the bulge (OGLE), R0=7.7+-0.7 kpc from a distance to the near side of the bulge combined with an estimated bulge radius of 1.3+-0.3 kpc derived from planetary nebulae. The distance of the Sun from the Galactic plane inferred from classical Cepheid variables is Zsun=26+-3 pc, a result dependent on the sample's distance and direction because of the complicating effects of Gould's Belt and warping in the Galactic disk. Classical Cepheids and young open clusters delineate consistent and obvious spiral features, although their characteristics do not match conventional pictures of the Galaxy's spiral pattern. The Sagittarius-Carina arm is confirmed as a major spiral arm that appears to originate from a different Galactic region than suggested previously. Furthermore, a major feature is observed to emanate from Cygnus-Vulpecula and may continue locally near the Sun. Significant concerns related to the effects of metallicity on the VI-based reddening-free Cepheid distance relations used here are allayed by demonstrating that the computed distances to the Galactic centre, and to several globular clusters (M54, NGC 6441, M15, and M5) and galaxies (NGC 5128 and NGC 3198) which likely host Type II Cepheids: agree with literature results to within the uncertainties.
 Physics , 2015, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201525894 Abstract: We present new homogeneous measurements of Na, Al and three alpha-elements (Mg, Si, Ca) for 75 Galactic Cepheids. The abundances are based on high spectral resolution (R ~ 38,000) and high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N ~ 50-300) spectra collected with UVES at ESO VLT. The current measurements were complemented with Cepheid abundances either provided by our group (75) or available in the literature, for a total of 439 Galactic Cepheids. Special attention was given in providing a homogeneous abundance scale for these five elements plus iron (Genovali et al. 2013, 2014). In addition, accurate Galactocentric distances (RG) based on near-infrared photometry are also available for all the Cepheids in the sample (Genovali et al. 2014). They cover a large fraction of the Galactic thin disk (4.1 <= RG <= 18.4 kpc). We found that the above five elements display well defined linear radial gradients and modest standard deviations over the entire range of RG. Moreover, the [element/Fe] abundance ratios are constant across the entire thin disk; only the Ca radial distribution shows marginal evidence of a positive slope. These results indicate that the chemical enrichment history of iron and of the quoted five elements has been quite similar across the four quadrants of the Galactic thin disk. The [element/Fe] ratios are also constant over the entire period range. This empirical evidence indicates that the chemical enrichment of Galactic Cepheids has also been very homogenous during the range in age that they cover (~10-300 Myr). Once again, [Ca/Fe] vs. log(P) shows a (negative) gradient, being underabundant among youngest Cepheids. Finally, we also found that Cepheid abundances agree quite well with similar abundances for thin and thick disk dwarf stars and they follow the typical Mg-Al and Na-O correlations.
 Physics , 2001, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20011488 Abstract: A number of studies of abundance gradients in the galactic disk have been performed in recent years. The results obtained are rather disparate: from no detectable gradient to a rather significant slope of about -0.1 dex kpc -1. The present study concerns the abundance gradient based on the spectroscopic analysis of a sample of classical Cepheids. These stars enable one to obtain reliable abundances of a variety of chemical elements. Additionally, they have well determined distances which allow an accurate determination of abundance distributions in the galactic disc. Using 236 high resolution spectra of 77 galactic Cepheids, the radial elemental distribution in the galactic disc between galactocentric distances in the range 6-11 kpc has been investigated. Gradients for 25 chemical elements (from carbon to gadolinium) are derived...
 Physics , 2011, DOI: 10.1088/0004-6256/142/2/51 Abstract: This paper reports on the spectroscopic investigation of 101 Cepheids in the Carina region. These Cepheids extend previous samples by about 35% in number and increase the amount of the galactic disk coverage especially in the direction of l \approx 270{\deg}. The new Cepheids do not add much information to the radial gradient, but provide a substantial increase in azimuthal coverage. We find no azimuthal dependence in abundance over an 80{\deg} angle from the galactic center in an annulus of 1 kpc depth centered on the Sun. A simple linear fit to the Cepheid data yields a gradient d[Fe/H]/dRG = -0.055 \pm 0.003 dex/kpc which is somewhat shallower than found from our previous, smaller Cepheid sample.
 Physics , 2013, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201321650 Abstract: We present homogeneous and accurate iron abundances for almost four dozen (47) of Galactic Cepheids using high-spectral resolution (R$\sim$40,000) high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N $\ge$ 100) optical spectra collected with UVES at VLT. A significant fraction of the sample (32) is located in the inner disk (RG $le$ 6.9 kpc) and for half of them we provide new iron abundances. Current findings indicate a steady increase in iron abundance when approaching the innermost regions of the thin disk. The metallicity is super-solar and ranges from 0.2 dex for RG $\sim$ 6.5 kpc to 0.4 dex for RG $\sim$ 5.5 kpc. Moreover, we do not find evidence of correlation between iron abundance and distance from the Galactic plane. We collected similar data available in the literature and ended up with a sample of 420 Cepheids. Current data suggest that the mean metallicity and the metallicity dispersion in the four quadrants of the Galactic disk attain similar values. The first-second quadrants show a more extended metal-poor tail, while the third-fourth quadrants show a more extended metal-rich tail, but the bulk of the sample is at solar iron abundance. Finally, we found a significant difference between the iron abundance of Cepheids located close to the edge of the inner disk ([Fe/H]$\sim$0.4) and young stars located either along the Galactic bar or in the nuclear bulge ([Fe/H]$\sim$0). Thus suggesting that the above regions have had different chemical enrichment histories. The same outcome applies to the metallicity gradient of the Galactic bulge, since mounting empirical evidence indicates that the mean metallicity increases when moving from the outer to the inner bulge regions.