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Received; accepted

By Eugenio Carretta, Raffaele G. Gratton and Gisella Clementini


We review the results on distances and absolute ages of galactic globular clusters (GCs) obtained after the release of the Hipparcos catalogue. Several methods aimed at the definition of the Population II local distance scale are discussed, and their results compared. We notice that while some methods yield distances to the center of the LMC (identified here with the bar), other give distances to the system of globular clusters. There is some rough evidence that the two distances may not coincide, likely due to small number statistics for the LMC cluster RR Lyrae variables. Furthermore, uncertainties in the analysis enlarge error bars of some distance indicators to values larger then previously assumed. These two factors together may reconcile the so-called Short and Long Distance Scales. Emphasis is given in the paper to the discussion of distances and ages of GCs derived using Hipparcos parallaxes of local subdwarfs. We find that the selection criteria adopted to choose the local subdwarfs, as well as the size o

Year: 1999
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