Astronomy Magazine

Local Group Of Galaxies

Posted on the 23 May 2011 by Gabe12logan
The local group is relatively small cluster of galaxies and our galaxy is a part of local group. It consists of two dozen galaxies, but most are "dwarf" galaxies, much less than ours. There are only two large galaxies in the local group: the Milky Way and Andromeda Galaxy (two million light-years away in the direction of the sky marked by constellation Andromeda). Local Group size is about 10 million light years, and as such is part of a super cluster, set of galaxies that are centered on a large flock called the Virgo Supercluster.
Our galaxy is located in relatively small galactic flock with another 33 galaxies called the Local Group. Its size is about 10 million ly. There are far greater galaktic flocks. One of the largest clusters for which we know is in constellation Coma Berenice's. It has a flock of over 30,000 galaxies. All of these clusters of galaxies together with all matter and energy makes a set called galactic Metagalaxy. It is assumed that it has about 10 billion galaxies, whose mass is about 10 to 15 solar masses.
In the local group by its size dominate M31 and our Milky Way. These are the real giants among neighboring dwarf satellites. The most famous companions of the Milky Way are the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds (which was known even before the discovery of the telescope), and most known satellites of M31 are galaxies M32 and M110. This means that under Local group there are two sub-clusters or subgroups centered around two main galaxies. The third major member of the local group (although much smaller than the previously mentioned) is the galaxy in the Triangulum, M33. It seems that this galaxy is on the border of gravitational influence of M31. It seems that M33 has its own companion. It is a dwarf galaxy LGS 3. It seems that Local group is not stable and probably in the past suffered significant changes. The inner structure of clusters is not stable and some astronomers predict a collision (our galaxy with M31) after which came a giant elliptical galaxy.

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