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Publication Date


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The Astrophysical Journal


The American Astronomical Society


Trigonometric parallax observations made with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Fine Guidance Sensor (FGS) 3 of seven Hyades members in six fields of view have been analyzed along with their proper motions to determine the distance to the cluster. Knowledge of the convergent point and mean proper motion of the Hyades is critical to the derivation of the distance to the center of the cluster. Depending on the choice of the proper-motion system, the derived cluster center distance varies by 9%. Adopting a reference distance of 46.1 pc or m Ϫ M ϭ 3.32, which is derived from the ground-based parallaxes in the General Catalogue of Trigonometric Stellar Parallaxes (1995 edition), the FK5/PPM proper-motion system yields a distance 4% larger, while the Hanson system yields a distance 2% smaller. The HST FGS parallaxes reported here yield either a 14% or 5% larger distance, depending on the choice of the proper-motion system. Orbital parallaxes (Torres et al.) yield an average distance 4% larger than the reference distance. The variation in the distance derived from the HST data illustrates the importance of the proper-motion system and the individual proper motions to the derivation of the distance to the Hyades center; therefore, a full utilization of the HST FGS parallaxes awaits the establishment of an accurate and consistent proper-motion system.


Additional authors: G.F. Benedict, R.L. Duncombe, P.D. Hemenway, W.H. Jefferys, E. Nelan, P.S. Shelus, D. Story, A. Whipple, O.G. Franz, L. Wasserman, L.W. Frederick, R.B. Hanson, A.R. Klemola, B.F. Jones, R. Mendez, W.-S. Tsay, A. Bradley