Short Distance Scale to the Magellanic Clouds

In a series of papers we present the results of the analysis of the distance scale to the Magellanic Clouds, based on observations performed by the OGLE-II project. We use four independent stellar distance indicators (standard candles): Cepheids, RR Lyr, red clump (RC) stars and the stars from the tip of the red giant branch (TRGB). The results obtained from all four standard candles are fully consistent. The analysis is largely differential, free from zero point and extinction uncertainties.
The most likely calibration of the zero point of the common distance scale, which would be consistent with observations of all four distance indicators, is that resulting from faint calibration of RR Lyr stars or from calibration of the red clump stars. With the OGLE-II photometry it leads to the distance moduli of (m-M)LMC=18.24 mag and (m-M)SMC=18.75 mag. The systematic uncertainty is of the order of 0.07 mag, while the standard deviation of four determinations of only 0.02 mag.