The Local Group


Very detailed side view of "The Local Group" of Galaxies

A detailed lateral view of the Local Group of galaxies that contains the Milky Way, Andromeda, and other 120 minor galaxies. The main map is accompanied by technical sheets and expected future paths for major group members, a top view, and a neighboring groups scheme. Developed in July 2022 by Pablo Carlos Budassi. Last update: 5 Jul 2022.

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The Local Group is the galaxy group that includes our home the Milky Way. It has a total diameter of roughly 10 million light-years (3 megaparsecs), and a total mass of the order of 2×10^12 solar masses (4×10^42 kg). It consists of two collections of galaxies in a "dumbbell" shape: the Milky Way and its satellites are one lobe, and the Andromeda Galaxy and its satellites constitute the other. The two collections are separated by about 2,450 kly (800 kpc) and are moving toward one another with a velocity of 110 km/s. The group itself is a part of the larger Virgo Supercluster, which may be a part of the Laniakea Supercluster. The exact number of galaxies in the Local Group is unknown as some are occluded by dust in the Milky Way; however, at least 120 members are known, most of which are dwarf galaxies.

The two largest members, Milky Way and Andromeda, are both spiral galaxies. Each has its own system of satellites.

The Milky Way's satellite galaxies system comprises Sagittarius Dwarf, Large Magellanic Cloud, Small Magellanic Cloud, Canis Major Dwarf, Ursa Minor Dwarf, Draco Dwarf, Carina Dwarf, Sextans Dwarf, Sculptor Dwarf, Fornax Dwarf, Leo I, Leo II, Ursa Major I and Ursa Major II, plus several additional ultra-faint dwarf spheroidal galaxies.

The Andromeda Galaxy's satellite system consists of Messier 32 (M32), Messier 110 (M110), NGC 147, NGC 185, Andromeda I (And I), And II, And III, And V, And VI (also known as Pegasus Dwarf Spheroidal or dSph), And VII (also known as Cassiopeia Dwarf), And VIII, And IX, And X, And XI, And XIX, And XXI and And XXII, plus several additional ultra-faint dwarf spheroidal galaxies.

It is unclear whether the Triangulum Galaxy (third-largest member) is a companion of Andromeda. The two galaxies are 750 kly apart, and experienced a close passage 2–4 billion years ago which triggered star formation across Andromeda's disk. The Pisces Dwarf Galaxy is equidistant from Andromeda and Triangulum galaxies, so it may be a satellite of either. The membership of NGC 3109, with its companions Sextans A and the Antlia Dwarf Galaxy, is uncertain due to extreme distances from the center of the Local Group. The other members of the group are likely gravitationally secluded from these large subgroups.

🌀---🌀 We present this detailed side view of the Local Group showing major and small known galaxies, stellar streams, intergalactic dust clouds, and dark matter halos.

🔁 The expected paths of the major members are indicated. The main projection is accompanied by spreadsheets with general data of the major members, a top view, and a scheme of neighboring groups.

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🗺 Original work developed in July 2022 by Pablo Carlos Budassi. Last update: 5 Jul 2022.

Related work:

Milky Way Galaxy Map 2022:

Related Side views * To Scale * of:

(1) Earth-Moon, (2) Sun-Alpha Centauri

(1What's between the Earth and the Moon? 

Detailed diagram showing objects between the Earth and the Moon including artificial satellites, relevant sized near-Earth passing asteroids (past and future), and the different distances the Moon can take from Earth.

(2What's between Sun and Alpha Centauri? 
☀️・・・・・🔴 ☀️☀️

Schematic view to scale of known objects between the Sun and our nearest star system: Alpha Centauri.

☄️ The objects depicted include the Kuiper belt, notable comets and asteroids, inner torus-shaped Hills/Oort Cloud, outer spherical Oort cloud, and known past and future near passing stars. 

👀 Things to notice when looking at this graph: 🌟🌟The stars that passed and will pass through the Oort cloud in the last millennia. Notably the ultra-close approach to the Sun by Gliese 710 in 1,28 million years. (≈3% of the current Sun-Alpha Centauri distance!)

🔮🔮The (hypothetical) Oort clouds of the Sun and Alpha Centauri almost touch! However, they are too diffuse for there to be a significant chance at present for an object to collide with or even be deflected gravitationally from an object in the opposing cloud. The past near passing stars noted in this graphic probably set in motion long-period comets in all directions including maybe a couple towards the Sun.

🌏🚀Voyager 1 will be halfway Alpha Centauri in 40,000 years (if it were headed in that direction). Two light-years is a long way and it's fantastic that it will get there so soon being a probe made in the '70s.

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So what's between the Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy? 

"The Local Group"

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