We have observed the Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) effect in a sample of five moderate-redshift clusters with the Ryle Telescope, and used them in conjunction with X-ray imaging and spectral data from ROSAT and ASCA to measure the Rubble constant. This sample was chosen with a strict X-ray flux limit using both the Bright Cluster Sample and the Northern ROSAT All-Sky Survey (RASS) cluster catalogues to be well above the surface brightness limit of the RASS, and hence to be unbiased with respect to the orientation of the cluster. This controls a major potential systematic effect in the SZ/X-ray method of measuring H 0. Taking the weighted geometric mean of the results and including the main sources of error, namely the noise in the SZ measurement, the uncertainty in the X-ray temperatures and the unknown ellipticity and substructure of the clusters, we find H 0 = 59 -9 +10 (random) -7 +8(systematic) km s -1 Mpc -1 assuming a standard cold dark matter model with Ω M = 1.0, Ω A = 0.0 or H 0 = 66 -10 -8 +11 +9 km s -1 Mpc -1 if Ω M = 0.3, Ω Λ = 0.7.
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