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The Astronomical Journal


This is the first in a series of papers describing the recently completed all-sky redshift-distance survey of Early-type NEARby galaxies (ENEAR) carried out for peculiar velocity analysis. The sample is divided into two parts and consists of 1607 elliptical and lenticular galaxies with cz ≤ 7000 km s-1 and with blue magnitudes brighter than mB = 14.5 (ENEARm) and of galaxies in clusters (ENEARc). Galaxy distances based on the Dn-σ and fundamental plane (FP) relations are now available for 1359 and 1107 ENEARm galaxies, respectively, with roughly 80% based on new data gathered by our group. The Dn-σ and FP template distance relations are derived by combining 569 and 431 galaxies in 28 clusters, respectively, of which about 60% are based on our new measurements.

To date the ENEAR survey has accumulated 2200 R-band images yielding photometric parameters for 1398 galaxies and 2300 spectra yielding 1745 measurements of central velocity dispersions and spectral line indices for 1210 galaxies. In addition, there are some 1834 spectra of early-type galaxies available in the Southern Sky Redshift Survey (SSRS+SSRS2) database, out of which roughly 800 galaxies yield high-quality measurements of velocity dispersions and spectral line indices, bringing the total number of galaxies with available spectral information to about 2000. Combined with measurements publicly available, a catalog has been assembled comprising ~4500 measurements of central velocity dispersions for about 2800 galaxies, ~3700 measurements of photometric parameters for about 2000 galaxies, and distances for about 1900 galaxies. This extensive database provides information on galaxies with multiple observations from different telescope/instrument configurations and from different authors. These overlapping data are used to derive relations to transform all available measurements into a common system, thereby ensuring the homogeneity of the database.

The ENEARm redshift-distance survey extends the earlier work of the 7S and the recent Tully-Fisher surveys sampling a comparable volume. In subsequent papers of this series we intend to use the ENEAR sample by itself or in combination with the I-band field spiral (SFI) Tully-Fisher survey to analyze the properties of the local peculiar velocity field and to test how sensitive the results are to the different sampling of the galaxy distribution and to the distance relation used. We also anticipate that the homogeneous database assembled will be used for a variety of other applications and serve as a benchmark for similar studies at high redshift.