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The Hubble Space Telescope H0 Key Project

  • Wendy L. Freedman (a1), Robert C. Kennicutt (a2), Jeremy R. Mould (a3) and Barry F. Madore (a4)


As this conference has attested to, cosmology is a rapidly maturing field, currently experiencing a very healthy and vigorous confrontation between theory and experiment. This rapid progress in many different areas of cosmology has not removed the longstanding interest in measuring many of the fundamental cosmological parameters - rather, the increasingly detailed predictions of current theory highlight the critical importance of independently, accurately measuring the cosmological parameters which define the basic model for the dynamical evolution of the Universe. I present here the final results of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Key Project to measure the Hubble constant, summarizing our method, the results and the uncertainties. The Key Project results are based on a Cepheid calibration of several secondary distance methods applied over the range of about 60 to 400 Mpc. Based on the Key Project Cepheid calibration and its application to five secondary methods (type Ia supernovae, the Tully-Fisher relation, surface brightness fluctuations, type II supernovae, and the fundamental plane for elliptical galaxies), a combined value of H0 = 72 ± 8 km/sec/Mpc is obtained. Comparing to current estimates of the ages of Galactic globular clusters, an age conflict is avoided for this high a value of H0 if we live in a Λ-dominated (or other form of dark energy) universe.



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