The Hubble Space Telescope key project on the extragalactic distance scale. XX. The discovery of cepheids in the virgo cluster galaxy NGC 4548 Academic Article uri icon


  • We report on the discovery and properties of Cepheid variable stars in the barred spiral galaxy NGC 4548, which is a member of the Virgo cluster of galaxies. This is one of the galaxies being observed as part of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Key Project on the Extragalactic Distance Scale, which aims to determine the Hubble constant to 10% accuracy. Our analysis is based on observations made with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 during 1996 and 1997. We identify 24 probable Cepheids with periods between 16 and 38 days. They were observed over 13 epochs with the F555W filter and eight epochs with the F814W filter. The HST F555W and F814W data have been transformed to the Johnson V and Cousins I magnitude systems, respectively. Photometry has principally been carried out using the DAOPHOT/ALLFRAME package. A comparison is made with parallel measurements using the DoPHOT package. Apparent period-luminosity relations for V and I have been constructed. Assuming values of 0 = 18.50 0.10 mag and E(B - V) = 0.10 mag for the distance modulus and reddening of the Large Magellanic Cloud, a true distance modulus of 31.01 0.28 mag is derived corresponding to a distance of 15.9 2.0 Mpc. HST Cepheid distances of other spiral galaxies in the Virgo Cluster are discussed. Their good agreement with the new NGC 4548 distance strengthens the evidence that this galaxy lies within the Virgo cluster core.

published proceedings

  • Astrophysical Journal

author list (cited authors)

  • Graham, J. A., Ferrarese, L., Freedman, W. L., Kennicutt, R. C., Mould, J. R., Saha, A., ... Turner, A.

complete list of authors

  • Graham, JA||Ferrarese, L||Freedman, WL||Kennicutt, RC||Mould, JR||Saha, A||Stetson, PB||Madore, BF||Bresolin, F||Ford, HC||Gibson, BK||Han, M||Hoessel, JG||Huchra, J||Hughes, SM||Illingworth, GD||Kelson, DD||Macri, L||Phelps, R||Sakai, S||Silbermann, NA||Turner, A

publication date

  • January 1999