NED Redshift-Independent Distances (NED-D)

Comment | NED Home

(Latest Revision: 25 October 2017)

NED-D: A Master List of Redshift-Independent Extragalactic Distances

(Version 14.2.0 October 2017)

As compiled by Ian Steer, Barry F. Madore, and the NED Team

NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED)
California Institute of Technology


The Observatories
Carnegie Institution of Washington
Pasadena CA

With additional generous support from the Carnegie Institution of Canada

NED-D data files:


NED-D is an online compilation of redshift-independent extragalactic distances found in an extensive search of the recently published literature. Version 14.2.0 (October 2017) of NED-D provides 62970 distances to 7143 galaxies based on primary methods, using standard candles such as Cepheids and Type Ia supernova, or standard rulers such as globular cluster radii and masers. Also provided are 205127 distances for 141244 galaxies based on secondary methods (the Tully-Fisher or Fundamental Plane relations, etc.). In total, NED-D V14.2.0 provides 268100 redshift-independent extragalactic distances for 147195 galaxies.

Users can access the results of this compilation of distances in two independent ways:

  1. On the Main Interface to NED the link labeled Redshift Independent Distances allows one to retrieve distances for individual galaxies within NED. For the Andromeda galaxy for example, this request currently returns 398 distances based on 23 redshift-independent methods. Galaxy queries draw from the 255664 distances for 143396 galaxies and systems of galaxies that come from sources that are both peer-reviewed and incorporated within the main NED database.
  2. The Galaxy Distances Tabulation (NED-D) [Download] contains all 268100 distances for all 147195 galaxies available, including all distances incorporated within NED as above, as well as distances from some peer-reviewed papers still to be added to NED, plus distances found in conference proceedings or preprints not generally found in the main NED database. The format is CSV (comma-separated variable), appropriate for loading into most database management systems. Table 1 describes the structure of this tabular version of NED-D.

In earlier releases of NED-D, each published distance estimate was attached solely to the host galaxy in which it was measured. From Version 5.1 on we have extended the linkage to apply also to the specific objects themselves within the host galaxies. Such objects include individual globular clusters, supernovae, Cepheid, RR Lyrae variables and eclipsing binaries, etc. One application is that there are now enough distance estimates to individual objects within certain Local Group galaxies, such as the LMC and SMC, so as to permit detailed 3-dimensional analysis of the internal structure of these galaxies.

NED-D is designed to meet the need for an up-to-date and easy-to-use tabulation of redshift-independent extragalactic distances published in the precision era, broadly taken to be since 1990 and launch of the NASA Hubble Space Telescope (HST). NED-D exists to support scientists, space missions, and ground-based observatories in planning, interpretation, and publication of research on galaxies, extragalactic distances, and cosmology. NED-D is being maintained as part of NED core activities, with updated and upgraded versions being made available on a regular basis.

Table 1: Structure of the tabular version of NED-D
Field Label Description
1 Exclusion Code Exclusion Code: indicates where "" (blank) which of the distances from the master file are from peer-reviewed sources incorporated within NED, and are both interactive within NED and available via the Redshift Independent Distances query, and indicates by the letter "R" and "N" which are among the distances not yet included in NED but available in the NED-D tabulation.
2 D Record index.
3 G Object index.
4 Galaxy ID NED "Preferred Object Name" for the host galaxy.
5 m-M Distance Modulus expressed in mag.
6 err Quoted (one-sigma) statistical (random) error on the distance modulus.
7 D (Mpc) Metric distance (in units of Mpc).
8 Method Distance indicator (method) used; see Table 2 for explanations of the codes.
9 REFCODE REFCODE for the originating paper publishing the distance.
Ancillary information of the various methods, such as added corrections, zero points, etc.
10 SN ID Supernova Name: informs users only when distances are based on Type Ia Supernova (SNIa), Type II Supernova optical (SNII optical), or Type II Supernova radio (SNII radio) methods, stating which SN is referenced, easing interactive comparison between NED-D and the author(s) data, which are most often presented in SN order whether by date or name, rather than order of galaxy host position, as given here.
11 redshift (z) Redshift: appears only in cases where the distance modulus is published as a "luminosity distance modulus", as provided mostly for Type Ia supernova (SNIa), showing the target redshift used to transform each "luminosity distance modulus" given to the corresponding "metric distance", via m-M(L) = [5 logD/(1+z)]/5.
12 Hubble const. Hubble constant: appears only in cases where the Hubble constant assumed by the author(s) differs from the default value of H = 70 km/s/Mpc used here and by the Supernova Cosmology Project, the Supernova Legacy Survey and others, see for example Astier et al. (2006), who round down the value of H = 72 km/s/Mpc from the NASA HST Key Project final results by Freedman et al. (2001).
13 Adopted LMC modulus LMC zero point: appears only in cases where the zero point assumed by the author(s) differs from a fiduciary value of 18.50 mag.
14 Date (Yr. - 1980) Reference Date
15 Notes Notes distinguishing where necessary relevant measurement data.

Table 2: NED-D redshift-independent extragalactic distance methods
Standard CandlesEstimatesGalaxies
AGN time lag 33 20
Asymptotic Giant Branch Stars (AGB) 3 2
B-type Stars (B Stars) 2 1
BL Lac Object Luminosity (BL Lac Luminosity) 152 132
Black Hole 17 17
Blue Supergiant 2 2
Brightest Cluster Galaxy (BCG) 234 234
Brightest Stars 365 174
Carbon Stars 55 19
Cepheids 11048 114
Color-Magnitude Diagrams (CMD) 1115 198
Delta Scuti 14 5
Flux-Weighted Gravity-Luminosity Relation (FGLR) 13 11
Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB) 844 274
Globular Cluster Luminosity Function (GCLF) 809 214
Globular Cluster Surface Brightness Fluctuations (GC SBF) 2 1
HII Luminosity Function (HII LF) 16 16
Horizontal Branch 125 54
M Stars luminosity (M Stars) 12 8
Miras 47 15
Novae 18 7
O- and B-type Supergiants (OB Stars) 6 3
Planetary Nebula Luminosity Function (PNLF) 277 77
Post-Asymptotic Giant Branch Stars (PAGB Stars) 2 2
Quasar spectrum 11 11
RR Lyrae Stars 23409 59
Red Clump 218 27
Red Supergiant Variables (RSV Stars) 9 6
Red Variable Stars (RV Stars) 5 1
S Doradus Stars 5 5
SNIa SDSS 3027 1771
SX Phoenicis Stars 4 3
Short Gamma-Ray Bursts (SGRB) 40 36
Statistical 32 14
Subdwarf Fitting 1 1
Sunyaev-Zeldovich Effect (SZ effect) 316 50
Surface Brightness Fluctuations (SBF) 1924 545
Tip of the Red Giant Branch (TRGB) 1990 465
Type II Cepheids 41 17
Type II Supernovae, Radio (SNII radio) 13 13
Type Ia Supernovae (SNIa) 15171 3185
White Dwarfs 1 1
Wolf-Rayet 3 1
Standard Rulers
CO ring diameter 12 12
Dwarf Galaxy Diameter 10 5
Eclipsing Binary 204 6
Globular Cluster Radii (GC radius) 108 107
Grav. Stability Gas. Disk 20 20
Gravitational Lenses (G Lens) 121 58
HII Region Diameters (HII) 69 43
Jet Proper Motion 1 1
Masers 28 10
Orbital Mechanics (Orbital Mech.) 7 5
Proper Motion 10 5
Ring Diameter 212 165
Type II Supernovae, Optical (SNII Optical) 737 176
Secondary Methods
D-Sigma 2029 564
Diameter 9 6
Dwarf Ellipticals 1 1
Faber-Jackson 1530 440
Fundamental Plane (FP) 130732 129080
GC K vs. (J-K) 1 1
GeV TeV ratio 47 25
Globular Cluster Fundamental Plane (GC FP) 10 2
H I + optical distribution 1 1
Infra-Red Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) 2945 2438
L(H{beta})-{sigma} 25 25
LSB galaxies 6 6
Magnitude 108 106
Mass Model 11 6
Radio Brightness 1 1
Sosies 391 348
Tertiary 283 282
Tully Estimate (Tully est) 1434 1431
Tully-Fisher 65563 12196

Constructing NED-D

Our primary gateway to the astronomical literature is the NASA/SAO Astrophysics Data System (ADS), described by Kurtz et al. (2000). For the period Jan. 1980 to the present researched for NED-D so far, more than 10 million papers and other resources are available in ADS. Of these, hundreds of thousands contain the key word "galaxy". For Version 1 (June 2006) we were, of necessity, fairly conservative in further narrowing down the number of papers contained in our focused search. For example, a restricted keyword search on "galaxy + distance + Cepheids" returned 1,500 papers published from 1990 to 2005 inclusive. Of these we finally ascertained that 241 articles contained newly published distances. We next expanded the search to capture several other significant and widely used distance determination methods, e.g., Type Ia supernova (SNIa), Surface Brightness Fluctuations (SBF), Tip of the Red Giant (TRGB), and other standard candle methods. Later searches further expanded the number of secondary distance indicators. NED-D currently provides distances based on several dozen different redshift-independent methods. (See Table 2 for a complete listing.)

NED-D Growth

Figure 1. Growth in the number of individual redshift-independent distance estimates (blue), and the galaxies with such estimates (red), is shown for both primary indicators (thick lines) and secondary indicators (thin lines). Cumulative totals are shown for the end of each five-year period, except the most recent period which is current through 2014.

NED-D Historical Distances (pre-1930)

We have also collected, using similar procedures, 290 distances to galaxies published before 1930. One of us (I.S.) has provided a brief introduction to these.

Hubble Tuning Fork Shown to Scale Using Distances from NED-D

Click on the image below for details.

Hubble Tuning Fork - NED-D


Return to NED's Home Page