The carnegie hubble program: The leavitt law at 3.6 and 4.5 μm in the milky way

Andrew J. Monson, Wendy L. Freedman, Barry F. Madore, S. E. Persson, Victoria Scowcroft, Mark Seibert, Jane R. Rigby

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The Carnegie Hubble Program (CHP) is designed to calibrate the extragalactic distance scale using data from the post-cryogenic era of the Spitzer Space Telescope. The ultimate goal of the CHP is a systematic improvement in the distance scale leading to a determination of the Hubble constant to within an accuracy of 2%. This paper focuses on the measurement and calibration of the Galactic Cepheid period-luminosity (PL, Leavitt) relation using the warm Spitzer/IRAC 1 and 2 bands at 3.6 and 4.5 μm. We present photometric measurements covering the period range 4-70days for 37 Galactic Cepheids. Data at 24 phase points were collected for each star. Three PL relations of the form M = a(log (P) - 1) + b are derived. The method adopted here takes the slope a to be -3.31, as determined from the Spitzer Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) data of Scowcroft et al. Using the geometric Hubble Space Telescope guide-star distances to 10 Galactic Cepheids, we find a calibrated 3.6 μm PL zero point of -5.80 ± 0.03. Together with our value for the LMC zero point, we determine a reddening-corrected distance modulus of 18.48 ± 0.04mag to the LMC. The mid-IR period-color diagram and the [3.6]-[4.5] color variation with phase are interpreted in terms of CO absorption at 4.5 μm. This situation compromises the use of the 4.5 μm data for distance determinations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number19
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 10 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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