The Magellanic Clouds, especially the Large Magellanic Cloud, are places where multiple distance indicators can be compared with each other in a straight-forward manner at considerable precision. We here review the distances derived from Cepheids, Red Variables, RR Lyraes, Red Clump Stars and Eclipsing Binaries, and show that the results from these distance indicators generally agree to within their errors, and the distance modulus to the Large Magellanic Cloud appears to be defined to ±3% with a mean value ( m- M)0=18.48 mag, corresponding to 49.7 kpc. The utility of the Magellanic Clouds in constructing and testing the distance scale will remain as we move into the era of Gaia.
Astrophysics and Space Science
- Pub Date:
- September 2012
- Distance scale;
- Magellanic Clouds;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies
- 23 pages, accepted for publication in Astrophysics and Space Science. From a presentation at the conference The Fundamental Cosmic Distance Scale: State of the Art and the Gaia Perspective, Naples, May 2011