Journal Article

Confirmation of previous ground-based Cepheid P-L zero-points using <i>Hipparcos</i> trigonometric parallaxes

Allan Sandage and G. A. Tammann

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 293, issue 1, pages L23-L26
Published in print January 1998 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online January 1998 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Confirmation of previous ground-based Cepheid P-L zero-points using Hipparcos trigonometric parallaxes

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Comparisons show agreement at the 0.1-mag level between the calibration of the Cepheid period-luminosity (P-L) relation by Feast & Catchpole (FC) using the early release of Hipparcos data and four previous ground-based calibrations, three of which are either largely or totally independent of the distance to the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). Each of the comparisons has the sense that the FC calibration is brighter, but only at the level of ≲ 0.1 mag. In contrast, FC argue that their Hipparcos recalibration leads to a 0.2-mag revision in the distance to the LMC, and thereby to a 10 per cent decrease in the Hubble constant. We argue differently. The comparison of the Hipparcos recalibration with others should be made using only local Galactic Cepheids, not based on Cepheids in the LMC that require a set of precepts that are not germane to the direct Hipparcos recalibration. The comparison made here, using only Galactic Cepheids, gives a correction of ∽ 4 per cent or less to our value of H0 based on Type Ia supernovae, keeping all other factors and precepts the same.

A second success of the Hipparcos mission is the calibration of the position of the main sequence in the Hertzsprung—Russell diagram as a function of metallicity using local subdwarfs. These data have been used by Reid and by Gratton et al. to obtain, similarly to FC, a brighter absolute magnitude of RR Lyrae stars by ∽0.3 mag from that often currently adopted. These new calibrations confirm the earlier brighter calibrations by Walker, by Sandage, and by Mazzitelli, D'Antona & Caloi, thereby reducing the ages of globular clusters by ∽30 per cent. This removes most of the cosmological time-scale problem if H0∽55 km s−1 Mpc−1. A similar conclusion, based on pulsation theory and MACHO data, has been reached by Alcock et al.

Keywords: Cepheids; distance scale

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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