A Geometric Determination of the Distance to SN 1987A and the LMC

  • Nino Panagia
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Physics book series (SPPHY, volume 99)


Using the definitive reductions of the IUE light curves by [15] and an extensive set of HST images of SN 1987A we have repeated and improved our original analysis [8, 9] to derive a better determination of the distance to the supernova. In this way we have obtained an absolute size of the ring R abs = (6.23 ± 0.08) × 1017 cm and an angular size R″ = 808 ± 17 mas, which give a distance to the supernova d(SN1987A) = 51.4 ± 1.2 kpc and a distance modulus (m − M)SN1987A = 18.55 ± 0.05. Allowing for a displacement of SN 1987A position relative to the LMC center, the distance to the barycenter of the Large Magellanic Cloud is also estimated to be d(LMC) = 51.7 ± 1.3 kpc, which corresponds to a distance modulus of (m − M)LMC = 18.56 ± 0.05.


Light Curve Light Curf Angular Size Absolute Size Distance Modulus 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nino Panagia
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Space Telescope Science InstituteBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Affiliated with the Space Telescope Division of the European Space AgencyESTECNoordwijkNetherlands

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