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Standard Candles in Astronomy

  • Paolo A. Mazzali
Chapter
Part of the Integrated Science & Technology Program book series (ISTP, volume 1)

Abstract

One of the basic missions of Astronomy is to measure distances in the cosmos. This is usually done using the method of standard candles, which requires identifying astronomical objects or phenomena with a repeatable luminosity, and to measure that luminosity. Objects suitable as standard candles range from stars to supernovae, but also properties of the light of galaxies and the distribution of galaxies in clusters are useful standard candles. more luminous objects can be used to measure larger distances, looking back into the evolution of the Universe. We review here some of the history of determining astronomical distances, and discuss some of the most recent applications and results.

Keywords

(Cosmology:) distance scale Stars:variables: cepheids (Stars:) supernovae: general 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The author is deeply grateful to Brian Schmidt and Elena Pian for critically reading earlier versions of this manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.INAF–Osservatorio di PadovaPadovaItaly
  2. 2.Max-Planck-Institut für AstrophysikGarchingGermany

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