||The Local Group
Some members of the Local Group
The Milky Way is a member of a group of galaxies
termed the Local Group
approximately 20 bright galaxies and 30 galaxies total.
in the local group are the spirals Andromeda (M31) and the Milky Way.
The Large Magellanic Cloud
Some Galaxies in the Local Group
The two closest galaxies to the Milky Way are called the
Magellanic Clouds, which may be viewed as
satellite galaxies to the Milky Way at a distance of a little less than 200,000
They are only visible in the Southern Hemisphere, but
can easily be seen by the naked-eye and their brightest stars can be seen
with binoculars. They are irregular galaxies and
are much smaller than the Milky Way.
Two galaxies are visible to the naked-eye in the Northern Hemisphere. The
Galaxy (M31) is a great spiral galaxy much like our own at a distance of about
3 million light years (a little less than 3 Mpc). To the naked eye it
is a faint fuzzy patch that appears, with binoculars, as a lens
It has two dwarf elliptical satellite galaxies visible through a
The Andromeda Galaxy
The other galaxy of the local group that is
visible to the naked eye is the spiral
Triangulum at a distance comparable to that of Andromeda.
It too is a spiral galaxy, but it is smaller than Andromeda and
therefore is harder to see.
Some Other Nearby Groups of Galaxies
Some other nearby groups of galaxies are listed in the following table.
All told, there
are about 20 small groups of galaxies lying nearer to us than the
Virgo rich cluster.
Some Nearby Groups of Galaxies
||Number of Members
|M66 + M96