Published in "Stellar astrophysics for the local group" : VIII Canary Islands Winter School of Astrophysics. Edited by A. Aparicio, A. Herrero, and F. Sanchez. Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1998

For a PDF version of the article, click here.


By Barry F. Madore 1, Wendy L. Freedman 2

1NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database, Infrared Processing & Analysis Center, California Institute of Technology, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA 2Observatories, Carnegie Institution of Washington, 813 Santa Barbara St., Pasadena CA 91101, USA

The calibration and use of Cepheids as primary distance indicators is reviewed in the context of the extragalactic distance scale. Comparison is made with the independently calibrated Population II distance scale and found to be consistent at the 10% level. The combined use of ground-based facilities and the Hubble Space Telescope now allow for the application of the Cepheid Period-Luminosity relation out to distances in excess of 20 Mpc. Calibration of secondary distance indicators and the direct determination of distances to galaxies in the field as well as in the Virgo and Fornax clusters allows for multiple paths to the determination of the absolute rate of the expansion of the Universe parameterized by the Hubble constant. At this point in the reduction and analysis of Key Project galaxies H0 = 72km/sec/Mpc ± 2 (random) ± 12 [systematic].

Table of Contents