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Astron. Astrophys. 339, 671-677 (1998)

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Hubble constant from sosie galaxies and HIPPARCOS geometrical calibration

G. Paturel 1, P. Lanoix 1, P. Teerikorpi 2, G. Theureau 3, 4, L. Bottinelli 3, 5, L. Gouguenheim 3, 5, N. Renaud 1 and O. Witasse 1, 6

1 CRAL-Observatoire de Lyon, UMR 5574, F-69230 Saint-Genis Laval, France
2 Tuorla Observatory, FIN-21500 Piikki, Finland
3 Observatoire de Paris-Meudon, URA 1757, F-92195 Meudon Principal Cedex, France
4 Osservatorio di Capodimonte, Via Moiariello 16, I-80131 Napoli, Italy
5 Université Paris-Sud, F-91405 Orsay, France
6 Université Claude-Bernard LyonI, F-69622 Villeurbanne Cedex, France

Received 6 May 1997 / Accepted 8 September 1998


New distances, larger than previous ones, have been obtained for M 31 and M 81 based on the geometrical zero-point of the Cepheid Period-luminosity relation provided by the HIPPARCOS satellite. By combining them with independent determinations we define reasonable ranges for the distances of these important calibrating galaxies.

On this basis, we determine the Hubble constant from the method of sosies (look-alike) galaxies, galaxies having the same characteristics than the calibrators. The method is quite secure because it is purely differential and it does not depend on any assumption (apart from the natural one that two sosies galaxies have similar absolute luminosities). Nevertheless, the Malmquist bias has to be taken into account. The observations behave exactly as predicted from the analytical formulation of the bias. Thus, rejecting galaxies which are affected by the Malmquist bias we derive the Hubble constant:


If we strictly use the calibration obtained with HIPPARCOS and if the bias found in the Period-Luminosity Relation is considered, the Hubble constant is smaller than this ([FORMULA]). This gives arguments in favour of the long-distance scale. We briefly discuss possible improvements aiming at still reducing the uncertainty.

Key words: galaxies: distances and redshifts – galaxies: individual: M 31 – galaxies: individual: M 81 – distance scale

Send offprint requests to: G. Paturel

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: October 22, 1998