PerspectiveAstronomy

The Distance to the Large Magellanic Cloud

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Science  18 Aug 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5482, pp. 1149-1150
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5482.1149

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Summary

The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a satellite of the Milky Way, is an important yardstick by which most intergalactic distances are measured. But as Cole explains in this Perspective, how far away the LMC is remains a matter of dispute, with far reaching implications in cosmology. But observations of Cepheids and of eclipsing binaries, two types of stars that allow absolute luminosity and thus absolute distances to be determined, are promising to resolve this important issue in the not too distant future.