PUBLICATIONS OF THE ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY OF AUSTRALIA, vol.29, no.4, pp.509-522, 2012 (SCI-Expanded)
We present an absolute-magnitude calibration for red giants using the colour-magnitude diagrams of six Galactic clusters with different metallicities: M92, M13, M5, 47 Tuc, M67 and NGC 6791. The combination of the absolute magnitude offset from the fiducial of giant sequence of the cluster M5 with the corresponding metallicity offset provides a calibration estimation for the absolute magnitude of red giants for a given (B - V)(0) colour. The calibration is defined in the colour interval 0.75 <= (B - V)(0) <= 1.50 mag and it covers the metallicity interval -2.15 < [Fe/H] <= +0.37 dex. 91% of the absolute magnitude residuals obtained by the application of the procedure to another set of Galactic clusters lie in the interval -0.40 < Delta M <= +0.40 mag. The mean and the standard deviation of the residuals are 0.05 and 0.19 mag, respectively. We fitted the absolute magnitude also to metallicity and age for a limited sub-sample of (B - V)(0) colour, just to test the effect of age in absolute-magnitude calibration. Comparison of the mean and the standard deviation of the residuals evaluated by this procedure with the corresponding ones provided by the procedure where the absolute magnitude fitted to a third degree polynomial of metallicity show that the age parameter may be omitted in absolute magnitude estimation of red giants. The derived relations are applicable to stars older than 4 Gyr, the age of the youngest calibrating cluster.