Clustering of Local Group distances: publication bias or correlated measurements? VI. Extending to Virgo cluster distances

Richard de Grijs, Giuseppe Bono

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3 Citations (Scopus)
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We have established an internally consistent Local Group distance framework, using the Galactic Center, the Large Magellanic Cloud, and Messier 31 (M31) as important stepping stones. At greater distances, few distance benchmarks are available. As a consequence, M87 and/or Virgo cluster distances are often invoked as the next rung on the ladder to more distant objects such as the Fornax and Coma clusters. Therefore, we extensively mined the published literature for independently derived distance estimates to either M87 or the center of the Virgo cluster. Based on our newly compiled, comprehensive database of 213 such distances, published between 1929 and 2017 July, we recommend an outward extension to our distance framework, (m - M)M870 = 31.03 ± 0.14 mag (D = 16.07 ± 1.03 Mpc; where the uncertainty represents the Gaussian σ of the distribution), based on a subset of recent (post-1990) M87/Virgo cluster distance measurements. The most stable distance tracers employed here were derived from analysis of both primary and secondary distance indicators. Among the former, we preferentially rely on Cepheid period–luminosity relations and red-giant-branch terminal magnitudes; our preferred secondary distance tracers are surface brightness fluctuations. Our updated distance modulus to M87 implies a slightly reduced black hole mass of (5.9 ± 0.6) × 109 M with respect to that determined by the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalThe Astrophysical journal supplement series
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2019 The American Astronomical Society. First published in the Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 246(1), 3, 2020, published by IOP Publishing. The original publication is available at Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


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