NASA/IPAC EXTRAGALACTIC DATABASE
Date and Time of the Query: 2019-05-21 T00:45:28 PDT
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For refcode 1988AJ.....96..807T:
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1988AJ.....96..807T A NEW TECHNIQUE FOR MEASURING EXTRAGALACTIC DISTANCES JOHN TONRY Physics Department, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139 DONALD P. SCHNEIDER Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey 08540 Received 26 April 1988 ABSTRACT We describe a relatively direct technique of determining extragalactic distances. The method relies on measuring the luminosity fluctuations that arise from the counting statistics of the stars contributing the flux in each pixel of a high-signal-to-noise CCD image of a galaxy. The amplitude of these fluctuations is inversely proportional to the distance of the galaxy. This approach bypasses most of the successive stages of calibration required in the traditional extragalactic distance ladder; the only serious drawback to this method is that it requires an accurate knowledge of the bright end (M_V_ <= 3) of the luminosity function. Potentially, this method can produce accurate distances of elliptical galaxies and spiral bulges at distances out to about 20 Mpc. In this paper, we explain how to calculate the value of the fluctuations, taking into account various sources of contamination and the effects of finite spatial resolution, and we demonstrate, via simulations and CCD images of M32 and N3379, the feasibility and limitations of this technique.
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