Thursday, March 5, 2015

What is the Closest Galaxy to the Milky Way?

What is the Closest Galaxy to the Milky Way?:



Illustration of the Canis Dwarf Dwarf Galaxy, Credit:  R. Ibata (Strasbourg Observatory, ULP) et al./2MASS/NASA


Illustration of the Canis Dwarf Dwarf Galaxy and its associated tidal (shown in red) in relation to our Milky Way. Credit: R. Ibata (Strasbourg Observatory, ULP) et al./2MASS/NASA
Scientists have known for some time that the Milky Way Galaxy is not alone in the Universe. In addition to our galaxy being part of the Local Group — a collection of 54 galaxies and dwarf galaxies — we are also part of the larger formation known as the Virgo Supercluster. So you could say the Milky Way has a lot of neighbors.

Of these, most people consider the Andromeda Galaxy to our closest galactic cohabitant. But in truth, Andromeda is the closest spiral galaxy, and not the closest galaxy by a long shot. This distinction falls to a formation that is actually within the Milky Way itself, a dwarf galaxy that goes by the name of the Canis Major Dwarf Galax (aka. the Canis Major Overdensity).

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© mwill for Universe Today, 2015. |
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Post tags: 2MASS, accretion, Andromeda Galaxy, canis major dwarf galaxy, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, galaxies, infrared, Large Magellanic Cloud, M-Class Stars, M31, Mt. Hopkins Observatory, red dwarf, Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy, Two-Micron All-Sky Survey


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