AAS Meeting #194 - Chicago, Illinois, May/June 1999
Session 51. Results from the HST Key Project on the Extragalactic Distance Scale
Topical, Display, Tuesday, June 1, 1999, 10:00am-7:00pm, Southwest Exhibit Hall

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[51.01] Distances to Elliptical Galaxies From Near-IR Surface Brightness Fluctuations

M. C. Liu, J. R. Graham (UC Berkeley), S. Charlot (IAP/Paris)

We have measured near-IR SBFs in a sample of Fornax cluster elliptical galaxies. SBFs are appealing as cosmological distance indicators because they have a well-understood physical basis. SBFs in ellipticals are dominated by late-type stars so IR studies can potentially measure distances several times farther than past optical work. We are using Fornax cluster galaxies to calibrate the K-band (2.2~\micron) SBFs and to measure second parameter effects and the intrinsic dispersion. Fornax is the ideal cluster for this work; the cluster is compact, and targets are plentiful and have a spread in age/metallicity indicators. The zeropoint for our calibration is based on the HST Cepheid-derived distance to the cluster. In addition, we have been using SBF data to develop accurate stellar population models. Such models are important for distant (cz ~104~km/s) SBF studies to measure H0 using 10-m class telescopes and NICMOS on HST since only the models can compute the necessary K-corrections.

We are grateful to NOAO/CTIO for providing travel support for this work.

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