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A Uniform Type Ia Supernova Distance Ladder with the Zwicky Transient Facility: Absolute Calibration Based on the Tip of the Red Giant Branch Method

Dhawan, Suhail and Goobar, Ariel and Johansson, Joel and Jang, In Sung and Rigault, Mickael and Harvey, Luke and Maguire, Kate and Freedman, Wendy L. and Madore, Barry F. and Smith, Mathew and Sollerman, Jesper and Kim, Young-Lo and Andreoni, Igor and Bellm, Eric C. and Coughlin, Michael W. and Dekany, Richard and Graham, Matthew J. and Kulkarni, Shrinivas R. and Laher, Russ R. and Medford, Michael S. and Neill, James D. and Nir, Guy and Riddle, Reed and Rusholme, Ben (2022) A Uniform Type Ia Supernova Distance Ladder with the Zwicky Transient Facility: Absolute Calibration Based on the Tip of the Red Giant Branch Method. Astrophysical Journal, 934 (2). Art. No. 185. ISSN 0004-637X. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ac7ceb.

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The current Cepheid-calibrated distance ladder measurement of H₀ is reported to be in tension with the values inferred from the cosmic microwave background (CMB), assuming standard cosmology. However, some tip of the red giant branch (TRGB) estimates report H₀ in better agreement with the CMB. Hence, it is critical to reduce systematic uncertainties in local measurements to understand the Hubble tension. In this paper, we propose a uniform distance ladder between the second and third rungs, combining Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) observed by the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) with a TRGB calibration of their absolute luminosity. A large, volume-limited sample of both calibrator and Hubble flow SNe Ia from the same survey minimizes two of the largest sources of systematics: host-galaxy bias and nonuniform photometric calibration. We present results from a pilot study using the existing TRGB distance to the host galaxy of ZTF SN Ia SN 2021rhu (aka ZTF21abiuvdk) in NGC7814. Combining the ZTF calibrator with a volume-limited sample from the first data release of ZTF Hubble flow SNe Ia, we infer H₀ = 76.94 ± 6.4 km s⁻¹ Mpc⁻¹, an 8.3% measurement. The error budget is dominated by the single object calibrating the SN Ia luminosity in this pilot study. However, the ZTF sample includes already five other SNe Ia within ∼20 Mpc for which TRGB distances can be obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope. Finally, we present the prospects of building this distance ladder out to 80 Mpc with James Webb Space Telescope observations of more than 100 ZTF SNe Ia.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Dhawan, Suhail0000-0002-2376-6979
Goobar, Ariel0000-0002-4163-4996
Johansson, Joel0000-0001-5975-290X
Rigault, Mickael0000-0002-8121-2560
Maguire, Kate0000-0002-9770-3508
Freedman, Wendy L.0000-0003-3431-9135
Madore, Barry F.0000-0002-1576-1676
Smith, Mathew0000-0002-3321-1432
Sollerman, Jesper0000-0003-1546-6615
Kim, Young-Lo0000-0002-1031-0796
Andreoni, Igor0000-0002-8977-1498
Bellm, Eric C.0000-0001-8018-5348
Coughlin, Michael W.0000-0002-8262-2924
Dekany, Richard0000-0002-5884-7867
Graham, Matthew J.0000-0002-3168-0139
Kulkarni, Shrinivas R.0000-0001-5390-8563
Laher, Russ R.0000-0003-2451-5482
Medford, Michael S.0000-0002-7226-0659
Neill, James D.0000-0002-0466-1119
Nir, Guy0000-0002-7501-5579
Riddle, Reed0000-0002-0387-370X
Rusholme, Ben0000-0001-7648-4142
Alternate Title:A Uniform Type Ia Supernova Distance Ladder with the Zwicky Transient Facility: Absolute Calibration Based on the Tip of the Red Giant Branch (TRGB) Method
Additional Information:© 2022. The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI. Received 2022 March 8; revised 2022 June 27; accepted 2022 June 27; published 2022 August 5. Based on observations obtained with the Samuel Oschin Telescope 48 inch and the 60 inch Telescope at the Palomar Observatory as part of the Zwicky Transient Facility project. Z.T.F. is supported by the National Science Foundation under grant No. AST-2034437 and a collaboration including Caltech, IPAC, the Weizmann Institute for Science, the Oskar Klein Center at Stockholm University, the University of Maryland, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron and Humboldt University, the TANGO Consortium of Taiwan, the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, Trinity College Dublin, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, IN2P3, France, the University of Warwick, the University of Bochum, and Northwestern University. Operations are conducted by COO, IPAC, and UW. SEDMachine is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grant No. 1106171. S.D. acknowledges support from the Marie Curie Individual Fellowship under grant ID 890695 and a Junior Research Fellowship at Lucy Cavendish College. A.G. acknowledges support from the Swedish Research Council under Dnr VR 2020-03444 and the Swedish National Space Board. This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (grant agreement No. 759194—USNAC). Y.-L.K. acknowledges support by the Science and Technology Facilities Council [grant No. ST/V000713/1]. W.L.F. acknowledges support from program #13691 provided by NASA through a grant from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NASA 5-26555. M.W.C acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation with grant numbers PHY-2010970 and OAC-2117997. This work was supported by the GROWTH Marshal project (Kasliwal et al. 2019) funded by the National Science Foundation under grant No. 1545949.
Group:Astronomy Department, Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC), Zwicky Transient Facility
Funding AgencyGrant Number
ZTF partner institutionsUNSPECIFIED
Marie Curie Fellowship890695
Lucy Cavendish CollegeUNSPECIFIED
Swedish Research Council2020-03444
Swedish National Space Board (SNSB)UNSPECIFIED
European Research Council (ERC)759194
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)ST/V000713/1
Subject Keywords:Observational cosmology; Hubble constant; Type Ia supernovae
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220808-223894000
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Suhail Dhawan et al 2022 ApJ 934 185
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:116163
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:09 Aug 2022 18:03
Last Modified:09 Aug 2022 18:03

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