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Galactic calibration of the tip of the red giant branch
Mould, Jeremy; Clementini, Gisella; Da Costa, Gary
AA(Centre for Astrophysics & Supercomputing, Swinburne University, P.O. Box 218, Hawthorn, VIC 3122, Australia), AB(INAF-Osservatorio di Astrofisica e Scienza dello Spazio, 40129 Bologna, Italy), AC(Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Australian National University, ACT 0200, Australia)
Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, Volume 36, id. e001 (PASA Homepage)
Publication Date:
Astronomy Keywords:
parallax, stars, red giants, galaxies: distances and redshifts
Abstract Copyright:
2019: Astronomical Society of Australia
Bibliographic Code:


Indications from Gaia data release 2 are that the tip of the red giant branch (a population II standard candle related to the helium flash in low mass stars) is close to -4 in absolute I magnitude in the Cousins photometric system. Our sample is high-latitude southern stars from the thick disk and inner halo, and our result is consistent with longstanding findings from globular clusters, whose distances were calibrated with RR Lyrae stars. As the Gaia mission proceeds, there is every reason to think an accurate Galactic geometric calibration of tip of the red giant branch will be a significant outcome for the extragalactic distance scale.
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