AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 56. Globular Clusters
Display, Tuesday, January 8, 2002, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

[Previous] | [Session 56] | [Next]

[56.12] WIYN Open Cluster Study: The Absolute K Band Magnitude of the Red Clump as a Distance Indicator

A. J. Grocholski, A. Sarajedini (U. of Florida)

The primary goal of this study is to investigate the use of the K-band absolute magnitude of the red clump [MK(RC)] as a distance indicator. A number of recent papers have discussed the use of the I-band red clump luminosity [MI(RC)] as a standard candle. The results of these studies have been controversial with little agreement on the dependence of MI(RC) on metallicity and age. Since longer wavelengths are less sensitive to effects such as reddening, it has been suggested that MK(RC) may also possess a decreased sensitivity to both the composition and age of the red clump stars, making it a more robust choice for a distance indicator. Using near infrared photometry of Galactic open clusters from the 2nd Incremental Data Release of the 2MASS Point Source Catalog along with internally consistent metallicities, reddenings, ages and main sequence fitting distances for these systems, we investigate the utility of MK(RC) as a standard candle.

This research is supported by grant AST-9819768 from the National Science Foundation.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: aaron@astro.ufl.edu

[Previous] | [Session 56] | [Next]