The accuracy of extragalactic distance measurements ultimately depends on robust, high-precision determinations of the distances to the galaxies in the local volume. Following our detailed study addressing possible publication bias in the published distance determinations to the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), here we extend our distance range of interest to include published distance moduli to M31 and M33, as well as to a number of their wellknown dwarf galaxy companions. We aim at reaching consensus on the best, most homogeneous, and internally most consistent set of Local Group distance moduli to adopt for future, more general use based on the largest set of distance determinations to individual Local Group galaxies available to date. Based on a careful, statistically weighted combination of the main stellar population tracers (Cepheids, RR Lyrae variables, and the magnitude of the tip of the red-giant branch), we derive a recommended distance modulus to M31 of (m - M) M31 0 = 24.46 ± 0.10 mag - adopting as our calibration an LMC distance modulus of (m - M)LMC 0 = 18.50 mag - and a fully internally consistent set of benchmark distances to key galaxies in the local volume, enabling us to establish a robust and unbiased, near-field extragalactic distance ladder.
- astronomical databases: miscellaneous
- distance scale
- galaxies: distances and redshifts
- galaxies: individual (M31, M32, M33, NGC 147, NGC 185, NGC 205, IC 10, IC 1613)