Stellar twins determine the distance of the Pleiades

Thomas Mädler, Paula Jofré, Gerard F Gilmore, C. Clare Worley, Caroline Soubiran, Sergi Blanco-Cuaresma, Keith Hawkins, Andrew R. Casey

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Abstract

Since the release of the Hipparcos catalogue in 1997, the distance to the Pleiades open cluster has been heavily debated. The distance obtained from Hipparcos and those by alternative methods differ by 10 to 15%. As accurate stellar distances are key to understanding stellar structure and evolution, this dilemma puts the validity of some stellar evolution models into question. Using our model-independent method to determine parallaxes based on twin stars, we report individual parallaxes of 15 FGK type stars in the Pleiades in anticipation of the astrometric mission Gaia. These parallaxes give a mean cluster parallax of 7.42 ± 0.09 mas,which corresponds to a mean cluster distance of 134.8 ± 1.7 pc. This value agrees with the current results obtained from stellar evolution models.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA59
Number of pages9
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Volume595
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Parallaxes
  • Stars: distances
  • Stars: solar-type

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