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The Distance Modulus of LMC

  • Cesare Chiosi (a1) and Luisa Pigatto (a2)

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Deep CCD photometry of the star clusters NGC2162 and NGC2190 in LMC presented by Schommer et al. (1984) is used togheter with new evolutionary models computed by Bertelli et al. (1985a) which take into account overshooting from convective cores, to derive the clusters ages and the distance modulus of LMC. A preliminary analysis of the two clusters indicates that NGC 2162 and NGC 2190 belong to the same class of clusters discussed by Barbaro and Pigatto (1984). In fact, for the turn-off mass estimated by means of classical models (<2.2mO) these clusters should possess an extended red giant branch and a bimodal distribution of red stars (cifr. Fig.2). On the contrary they show a clump of red stars. This means that ages and other properties derived from classical models for this range of masses, may not correspond to reality. With the new models, stars of mass as low as 1.6 mO, ignite helium in non degenerate conditions, avoid the long lived RG phase, and burn helium as more massive stars. As consequence of it, a clump of red giants is expected. In Fig.1, we show new isochrones (Bertelli et al. 1985b) derived from models with overshooting, overlaid to the CM diagram of NGC 2162. Theoretical luminosities and Teff's are converted into Mv:(B-V)o plane by means of Teff:(B-V):BC scales based on models atmospheres collected from several authors (Chiosi, 1985). At any given age, the new isochrones run brighter than those of Ciardullo and Demarque (1977). By means of the luminosity function, a method more objective (Paczsynski, 1984) than the standard one of ZAMS and/or isochrone fitting, with a reddening of E(B-V)=0.06 and chemical composition X=0.700 and Z=0.02, we find ages of 1 109yr and a true distance modulus of (m-M)O=18.6 instead of 18.2±0.2 mag given by Schommer et al.(1984). Fig.2 shows the theoretical luminosity function at age 1 109yr, (age preliminarly assigned to the clusters by isochrone fitting) for main sequence and red giant stars obtained with Salpeter's IMF (top panel), compares it with the correspondent one of Ciardullo and Demarque(1977), and finally shows the observational LF we derive from stars counts(bottom panel) for NGC 2162. By imposing coincidence between theoretical and observational LF's at the side of main sequence fall-off and rising of the red giant clump, we derive the distance modulus (m-M)O=18.6. In conclusions, models with overshooting not only interpret the morphology of this class of clusters, but assigne LMC a distance modulus in agreement with other independent determinations (Walker, 1984; Visvanathan, 1985).

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References

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Barbaro, G., and Pigatto, L. 1984, Astron. Astrophys., 136, 355
Bertelli, G., and Bressan, A., Chiosi, C. 1985a, Astron. Astrophys., in press
Bertelli, G., Bressan, A., Chiosi, C., Nasi, E., Pigatto, L. 1985b, in preparation
Chiosi, C. 1985, in preparation
Ciardullo, R.B., Demarque, P. 1977, Yale Trans. Vol. 33
Paczynski, B. 1984, Astrophys. J., 288, 182
Schommer, R.A., Olszewski, E.W., Aaronson, M. 1984, Astrophys. J. (Letters) 285, L.53
Visvanathan, N. 1985, Astrophys. J., 288, 182
Walker, A.R. 1985, Monthly Notices Roy. Astr. Soc., 212, 343

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