Abstract We present a sample of about 120 000 red clump candidates selected from the LAMOST DR2 catalog based on the empirical distribution model in the effective temperature vs. surface gravity plane. Although, in general, red clump stars are considered as standard candles, they do not exactly stay in a narrow range of absolute magnitude, but may have a range of more than one magnitude depending on their initial mass. Consequently, conventional oversimplified distance estimations with the assumption of a fixed luminosity may lead to systematic bias related to the initial mass or age, which can potentially affect the study of the evolution of the Galaxy with red clump stars. We therefore employ an isochrone-based method to estimate the absolute magnitude of red clump stars from their observed surface gravities, effective temperatures and metallicities. We verify that the estimation removes the systematics well and provides initial mass/age estimates that are independent of distance with accuracy better than 10%.
Keywords stars: general — stars: horizontal-branch — stars: statistics — stars: distances — Galaxy: stellar content
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