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Paper: Globular cluster systems as distance indicators
Volume: 4, The Extragalactic Distance Scale: Proceedings of the ASP 100th Anniversary Symposium
Page: 231
Authors: Harris, William E.
Abstract: New CCD photometry of the globular cluster systems around three Virgo Cluster ellipticals (NGC 4365, 4472, 4649) has now been obtained to a limiting magnitude of B = 26.2. These data clearly show the luminosity function turnover (the peak frequency of the number of globular clusters versus luminosity) in these systems for the first time. In all three of these 'normal' ellipticals and in M87, the peak location occurs uniformly at B(O) = 24.7 + or - 0.25, with the same Gaussian LF shape sigma of about 1.4 mag. Matching directly to the LF for the Milky Way globular cluster system then yields a distance of (21.9 + or - 2.2) Mpc for Virgo. The potential for applying the LF method to more distant systems and large E galaxies in particular is discussed.
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