• Infrared Surface Brightness Fluctuation Distances for MASSIVE and Type Ia Supernova Host Galaxies

      Jensen, J.B.; Blakeslee, J.P.; Ma, C.-P.; Milne, P.A.; Brown, P.J.; Cantiello, M.; Garnavich, P.M.; Greene, J.E.; Lucey, J.R.; Phan, A.; et al. (American Astronomical Society, 2021)
      We measured high-quality surface brightness fluctuation (SBF) distances for a sample of 63 massive early-type galaxies using the WFC3/IR camera on the Hubble Space Telescope. The median uncertainty on the SBF distance measurements is 0.085 mag, or 3.9% in distance. Achieving this precision at distances of 50-100 Mpc required significant improvements to the SBF calibration and data analysis procedures for WFC3/IR data. Forty-two of the galaxies are from the MASSIVE Galaxy Survey, a complete sample of massive galaxies within ∼100 Mpc; the SBF distances for these will be used to improve the estimates of the stellar and central supermassive black hole masses in these galaxies. Twenty-four of the galaxies are Type Ia supernova hosts, useful for calibrating SN Ia distances for early-type galaxies and exploring possible systematic trends in the peak luminosities. Our results demonstrate that the SBF method is a powerful and versatile technique for measuring distances to galaxies with evolved stellar populations out to 100 Mpc and constraining the local value of the Hubble constant. © 2021. The Author(s). Published by the American Astronomical Society.
    • The hubble constant from infrared surface brightness fluctuation distances

      Blakeslee, J.P.; Jensen, J.B.; Ma, C.-P.; Milne, P.A.; Greene, J.E.; Steward Observatory, University of Arizona (IOP Publishing Ltd, 2021)
      We present a measurement of the Hubble constant H0 from surface brightness fluctuation (SBF) distances for 63 bright, mainly early-type galaxies out to 100 Mpc observed with the WFC3/IR on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The sample is drawn from several independent HST imaging programs using the F110W bandpass, with the majority of the galaxies being selected from the MASSIVE survey. The distances reach the Hubble flow with a median statistical uncertainty per measurement of 4%. We construct the Hubble diagram with these IR SBF distances and constrain H0 using four different treatments of the galaxy velocities. For the SBF zero-point calibration, we use both the existing tie to Cepheid variables, updated for consistency with the latest determination of the distance to the Large Magellanic Cloud from detached eclipsing binaries, and a new tie to the tip of the red giant branch (TRGB) calibrated from the maser distance to NGC 4258. These two SBF calibrations are consistent with each other and with theoretical predictions from stellar population models. From a weighted average of the Cepheid and TRGB calibrations, we derive H0 = 73.3 ± 0.7 ± 2.4 km s-1 Mpc-1, where the error bars reflect the statistical and systematic uncertainties. This result accords well with recent measurements of H0 from Type Ia supernovae, time delays in multiply lensed quasars, and water masers. The systematic uncertainty could be reduced to below 2% by calibrating the SBF method with precision TRGB distances for a statistical sample of massive early-type galaxies out to the Virgo cluster measured with the James Webb Space Telescope. © 2021 Institute of Physics Publishing. All rights reserved.