The Observed Properties of Dwarf Galaxies in and around the Local Group
Positional, structural, and dynamical parameters for all dwarf galaxies in and around the Local Group are presented, and various aspects of our observational understanding of this volume-limited sample are discussed. Over 100 nearby galaxies that have distance estimates reliably placing them within 3 Mpc of the Sun are identified. This distance threshold samples dwarfs in a large range of environments, from the satellite systems of the MW and M31, to the quasi-isolated dwarfs in the outer regions of the Local Group, to the numerous isolated galaxies that are found in its surroundings. It extends to, but does not include, the galaxies associated with the next nearest groups, such as Maffei, Sculptor, and IC 342. Our basic knowledge of this important galactic subset and their resolved stellar populations will continue to improve dramatically over the coming years with existing and future observational capabilities, and they will continue to provide the most detailed information available on numerous aspects of dwarf galaxy formation and evolution. Basic observational parameters, such as distances, velocities, magnitudes, mean metallicities, as well as structural and dynamical characteristics, are collated, homogenized (as far as possible), and presented in tables that will be continually updated to provide a convenient and current online resource. As well as discussing the provenance of the tabulated values and possible uncertainties affecting their usage, the membership and spatial extent of the MW sub-group, M31 sub-group, and the Local Group are explored. The morphological diversity of the entire sample and notable sub-groups is discussed, and timescales are derived for the Local Group members in the context of their orbital/interaction histories. The scaling relations and mean stellar metallicity trends defined by the dwarfs are presented, and the origin of a possible "floor" in central surface brightness (and, more speculatively, stellar mean metallicity) at faint magnitudes is considered.