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A distance to the galaxy NGC4258 from observations of Cepheid variable stars

Maoz, Eyal and Newman, Jeffrey A. and Ferrarese, Laura and Stetson, Peter B. and Zepf, Stephen E. and Davis, Marc and Freedman, Wendy L. and Madore, Barry F. (1999) A distance to the galaxy NGC4258 from observations of Cepheid variable stars. Nature, 401 (6751). pp. 351-354. ISSN 0028-0836. doi:10.1038/43838.

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Cepheid variable stars pulsate in a way that is correlated with their intrinsic luminosity, making them useful as 'standard candles' for determining distances to galaxies; the potential systematic uncertainties in the resulting distances have been estimated1 to be only 8–10%. They have played a crucial role in establishing the extragalactic distance scale and hence the value of the Hubble constant. Here we report observations of Cepheids in the nearby galaxy NGC4258; the distance calculated from the Cepheids is 8.1 plusminus 0.4 Mpc, where the uncertainty does not include possible systematic errors. There is an independently determined geometric distance to this galaxy of 7.2 plusminus 0.5 Mpc, based on the observed proper motions of water masers orbiting the central black hole2; the distances differ by 1.3sigma. If the maser-based distance is adopted and the Cepheid distance scale revised accordingly, the derived value of the Hubble constant would increase by 12 plusminus 9%, while the expansion age of the Universe would decrease by the same amount.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ReadCube access
Newman, Jeffrey A.0000-0001-8684-2222
Stetson, Peter B.0000-0001-6074-6830
Freedman, Wendy L.0000-0003-3431-9135
Madore, Barry F.0000-0002-1576-1676
Additional Information:© 1999 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Received 13 July; accepted 12 August 1999.
Issue or Number:6751
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150609-113942329
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Official Citation:Maoz, E., Newman, J. A., Ferrarese, L., Stetson, P. B., Zepf, S. E., Davis, M., . . . Madore, B. F. (1999). A distance to the galaxy NGC4258 from observations of Cepheid variable stars. [10.1038/43838]. Nature, 401(6751), 351-354.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:58117
Deposited On:10 Jun 2015 18:26
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 21:59

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