At the intersection of the Local Supergalactic plane and the Milky Way zone and in the vicinity of the bright spiral IC 342 there are 12 galaxies with radial velocities below 500 km/s. Judging by the amplitude of internal motions, some of them (Maffei 1, Maffei 2, Dwingeloo 1) are massive galaxies, which have escaped notice until recently because of strong interstellar absorption. In addition to the galaxies known previously (NGC 1560, NGC 1569, UGCA 86, UGCA 92, UGCA 105) new objects have been found in the region: Cas 2 = Dwingeloo 1 (Kraan-Korteweg et al. 1994), Cas 1 (Huchtmeier et al. 1995), MB 1 (McCall & Buta 1995; Huchtmeier & van Driel 1996), Dwingeloo 2 (Burton et al. 1996), Cam A (Karachentsev 1994), and Cam B (Huchtmeier et al. 1997). The surveys of the region, which have been undertaken with the Tautenburg 2-meter telescope plates (Börngen & Karachentseva 1985) and also with POSS-II films (Karachentseva & Karachentsev 1997) have revealed some other candidates to be probable members of this nearby complex of galaxies. The distribution of the galaxies is presented in Fig. 1 (click here) in galactic coordinates. The galaxies with corrected radial velocities V0 below 500 km/s are indicated with open circles, and other possible new members of the complex are noted with crosses.
Except for Maffei 1, Dwingeloo 1, Dwingeloo 2, and MB 1, situated in the strongest absorption zone, the rest of the galaxies with have already been resolved into stars. Based on the luminosity of the brightest blue and red stars the following distance have been estimated: 3.3 Mpc for UGCA 105 (Tikhonov et al. 1992), 2.1 Mpc for IC 342 and 1.9 Mpc for UGCA 86 (Karachentsev & Tikhonov 1993), 3.8 Mpc for NGC 1560 (Karachentsev et al. 1991), 1.8 Mpc for NGC 1569 and 2.2 Mpc for UGCA 92 (Karachentsev et al. 1994), 2.3 Mpc for Maffei 2 (Tikhonov & Karachentsev 1994), and 0.8 Mpc for Cas 1 (Tikhonov 1996). The mean distance of the IC 342/Maffei complex derived from these data agrees well with the earlier estimates made by Spinrad et al. (1973) and McCall (1989), but disagrees significantly with the value , obtained by Luppino & Tonry (1993) for Maffei 1 via surface brightness fluctuation method.
The problem of the distance to the IC 342/Maffei 1+2 group was discussed recently by Krismer et al. (1996). Estimating distance moduli to NGC 1560 and UGCA 105 by the Tully-Fisher method, these authors obtained a distance of , and ascribed it to the rest of the galaxies in the group. However, this suggestion is not at all evident in the case of the scattered association of galaxies which is seen along the Local Supercluster plane.
It should be stressed that if it is sufficiently nearby the IC 342/Maffei 1+2 group might affect the trajectories of galaxies in the Local Group (Zheng et al. 1991; Valtonen et al. 1993; Peebles 1994). Therefore, it is important to obtain precise distances to the galaxies in question.