The tip of the red giant branch distance to the Large Magellanic Cloud

Shoko Sakai, Dennis F Zaritsky, Robert C. Kennicutt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present the I-band luminosity function of the red giant branch stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) using the data from the Magellanic Clouds Photometric Survey (MCPS). By selecting stars in uncrowded, low-extinction regions, we observe a discontinuity in the luminosity function at I0 = 14.54 mag. Identifying this feature with the tip of the red giant branch (TRGB) and adopting an absolute TRGB magnitude of -4.05 ± 0.04 based on the calibration of Lee, Freedman, & Madore, we obtain a distance modulus of 18.59 ± 0.09 (random) ± 0.16 (systematic) mag. If the theoretical TRGB calibration provided by Cassisi & Salaris is adopted instead, the derived distance would be 4% greater. The LMC distance modulus reported here, 18.59 ± 0.09, is larger by 0.09 mag (1 σ) than the value that is most commonly used in the extragalactic distance scale calibrated by the period-luminosity relation of the Cepheid variable stars. Our TRGB distance modulus agrees with several RR Lyrae distances to the LMC based on Hipparcos parallaxes. Finally, we note that, by using the same MCPS data, we obtain a distance modulus of 18.29 ± 0.03 mag using the red clump method, which yields a distance shorter by 0.3 mag compared with the TRGB estimate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1197-1204
Number of pages8
JournalAstronomical Journal
Volume119
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2000

Fingerprint

Magellanic clouds
calibration
luminosity
discontinuity
extinction
cepheid variables
stars
variable stars
clumps
estimates

Keywords

  • Galaxies: distances and redshifts
  • Galaxies: irregular
  • Magellanic clouds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

The tip of the red giant branch distance to the Large Magellanic Cloud. / Sakai, Shoko; Zaritsky, Dennis F; Kennicutt, Robert C.

In: Astronomical Journal, Vol. 119, No. 3, 03.2000, p. 1197-1204.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sakai, Shoko ; Zaritsky, Dennis F ; Kennicutt, Robert C. / The tip of the red giant branch distance to the Large Magellanic Cloud. In: Astronomical Journal. 2000 ; Vol. 119, No. 3. pp. 1197-1204.
@article{596869514849433d98754be9847986d0,
title = "The tip of the red giant branch distance to the Large Magellanic Cloud",
abstract = "We present the I-band luminosity function of the red giant branch stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) using the data from the Magellanic Clouds Photometric Survey (MCPS). By selecting stars in uncrowded, low-extinction regions, we observe a discontinuity in the luminosity function at I0 = 14.54 mag. Identifying this feature with the tip of the red giant branch (TRGB) and adopting an absolute TRGB magnitude of -4.05 ± 0.04 based on the calibration of Lee, Freedman, & Madore, we obtain a distance modulus of 18.59 ± 0.09 (random) ± 0.16 (systematic) mag. If the theoretical TRGB calibration provided by Cassisi & Salaris is adopted instead, the derived distance would be 4{\%} greater. The LMC distance modulus reported here, 18.59 ± 0.09, is larger by 0.09 mag (1 σ) than the value that is most commonly used in the extragalactic distance scale calibrated by the period-luminosity relation of the Cepheid variable stars. Our TRGB distance modulus agrees with several RR Lyrae distances to the LMC based on Hipparcos parallaxes. Finally, we note that, by using the same MCPS data, we obtain a distance modulus of 18.29 ± 0.03 mag using the red clump method, which yields a distance shorter by 0.3 mag compared with the TRGB estimate.",
keywords = "Galaxies: distances and redshifts, Galaxies: irregular, Magellanic clouds",
author = "Shoko Sakai and Zaritsky, {Dennis F} and Kennicutt, {Robert C.}",
year = "2000",
month = "3",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "119",
pages = "1197--1204",
journal = "Astronomical Journal",
issn = "0004-6256",
publisher = "IOP Publishing Ltd.",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The tip of the red giant branch distance to the Large Magellanic Cloud

AU - Sakai, Shoko

AU - Zaritsky, Dennis F

AU - Kennicutt, Robert C.

PY - 2000/3

Y1 - 2000/3

N2 - We present the I-band luminosity function of the red giant branch stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) using the data from the Magellanic Clouds Photometric Survey (MCPS). By selecting stars in uncrowded, low-extinction regions, we observe a discontinuity in the luminosity function at I0 = 14.54 mag. Identifying this feature with the tip of the red giant branch (TRGB) and adopting an absolute TRGB magnitude of -4.05 ± 0.04 based on the calibration of Lee, Freedman, & Madore, we obtain a distance modulus of 18.59 ± 0.09 (random) ± 0.16 (systematic) mag. If the theoretical TRGB calibration provided by Cassisi & Salaris is adopted instead, the derived distance would be 4% greater. The LMC distance modulus reported here, 18.59 ± 0.09, is larger by 0.09 mag (1 σ) than the value that is most commonly used in the extragalactic distance scale calibrated by the period-luminosity relation of the Cepheid variable stars. Our TRGB distance modulus agrees with several RR Lyrae distances to the LMC based on Hipparcos parallaxes. Finally, we note that, by using the same MCPS data, we obtain a distance modulus of 18.29 ± 0.03 mag using the red clump method, which yields a distance shorter by 0.3 mag compared with the TRGB estimate.

AB - We present the I-band luminosity function of the red giant branch stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) using the data from the Magellanic Clouds Photometric Survey (MCPS). By selecting stars in uncrowded, low-extinction regions, we observe a discontinuity in the luminosity function at I0 = 14.54 mag. Identifying this feature with the tip of the red giant branch (TRGB) and adopting an absolute TRGB magnitude of -4.05 ± 0.04 based on the calibration of Lee, Freedman, & Madore, we obtain a distance modulus of 18.59 ± 0.09 (random) ± 0.16 (systematic) mag. If the theoretical TRGB calibration provided by Cassisi & Salaris is adopted instead, the derived distance would be 4% greater. The LMC distance modulus reported here, 18.59 ± 0.09, is larger by 0.09 mag (1 σ) than the value that is most commonly used in the extragalactic distance scale calibrated by the period-luminosity relation of the Cepheid variable stars. Our TRGB distance modulus agrees with several RR Lyrae distances to the LMC based on Hipparcos parallaxes. Finally, we note that, by using the same MCPS data, we obtain a distance modulus of 18.29 ± 0.03 mag using the red clump method, which yields a distance shorter by 0.3 mag compared with the TRGB estimate.

KW - Galaxies: distances and redshifts

KW - Galaxies: irregular

KW - Magellanic clouds

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0002330704&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0002330704&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0002330704

VL - 119

SP - 1197

EP - 1204

JO - Astronomical Journal

JF - Astronomical Journal

SN - 0004-6256

IS - 3

ER -