Constraints on the Hubble constant from observations of the brightest red-giant stars in a Virgo-cluster galaxy Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • The Virgo and Fornax clusters of galaxies play central roles in determining the Hubble constant H_0. A powerful and direct way of establishing distances for elliptical galaxies is to use the luminosities of the brightest red-giant stars (the TRGB luminosity, at M_I = -4.2). Here we report the direct observation of the TRGB stars in a dwarf elliptical galaxy in the Virgo cluster. We find its distance to be 15.7 +- 1.5 Megaparsecs, from which we estimate a Hubble constant of H_0 = 77 +- 8 km/s/Mpc. Under the assumption of a low-density Universe with the simplest cosmology, the age of the Universe is no more than 12-13 billion years.

publication date

  • September 1998