This study helps increase awareness of the pernicious effects of photometric contamination (crowding/blending), since it can propagate an undesirable systematic offset into the cosmic distance scale. The latest Galactic Cepheid Wesenheit (VIc) and Spitzer calibrations were employed to establish distances for classical Cepheids in IC 1613 and NGC 6822, thus enabling the impact of photometric contamination to be assessed in concert with metallicity. Distances (WVIc, [3.6]) for Cepheids in IC 1613 exhibit a galactocentric dependence, whereby Cepheids near the core appear (spuriously) too bright (rg< 2′). That effect is attributed to photometric contamination from neighboring (unresolved) stars, since the stellar density and surface brightness may increase with decreasing galactocentric distance. The impact is relatively indiscernible for a comparison sample of Cepheids occupying NGC 6822, a result that is partly attributable to that sample being nearer than the metal-poor galaxy IC 1613. WVIc and [3.6] distances for relatively uncontaminated Cepheids in each galaxy are comparable, thus confirming that period-magnitude relations (Leavitt Law) in those bands are relatively insensitive to metallicity (Δ [Fe/H] 1).
- Stars: variables: Cepheids