The Local Group of Galaxies

This is "our" group of galaxies.

Messier objects: The Andromeda Galaxy M31 and its satellites M32 and M110, as well as the Triangulum galaxy M33.

Other members (over 30 in all) include our Milky Way Galaxy, the Large and the Small Magellanic Cloud (LMC and SMC), as well as several smaller galaxies. These galaxies are spread in a volume of nearly 10 million light years diameter, centered somewhere between the Milky Way and M31.

Of the Local Group member galaxies, the Milky Way and M31 are by for the most massive, and therefore dominant members. Each of these to giant spirals has accumulated a system of satellite galaxies, where

The third-largest galaxy, the Triangulum spiral M33, may or may not be an outlying gravitationally bound companion of M31, but has itself probably the dwarf LGS 3 as a satellite.

The other members cannot be assigned to one of the main subgroups, and float quite alone in the gravitational field of the giant group members. The substructures of the group are probably not stable. Observations and calculations suggest that the group is highly dynamic and has changed significantly in the past: The galaxies around the large elliptical Maffei 1 have probably been once part of our galaxy group.

As this shows, the Local Group is not isolated, but in gravitional interaction, and member exchange, with the nearest surrounding groups, notably:

Local Group Member Galaxies
Galaxy Other name RA Dec Type Dist Diam Mass
WLM (*) 00:02.0 -15:28 IB(s) IV-V 2900 8 ?
IC 10 00:20.4 +59:18 KBm?
NGC 147 DDO 3 00:33.2 +48:31 dE5 pec
And III 00:35.4 +36:31
NGC 185 00:39.0 +84:20 dE3 pec
M110 NGC 205 00:41.3 +41:41 E5 pec 2200 17 10000
And IV 00:42.5 +40:34
M32 NGC 221 00:42.7 +40:52 E2 (cE2) 2200 8 3000
M31 NGC 224 00:42.7 +41:16 SA(s)b I-II 2200 195 400000
And I 00:45.7 +38:00 dE3 pec ?
SMC 00:51.7 -73:14 SB(s)m pec 195 25 6000
Scl dw E351-G30 01:00.0 -33:42 dE3 pec
LGS 3 (*) Psc dw 01:03.8 +21:53
IC1613 DDO 8 01:05.1 +02:08 IAB(s)m V
And II 01:16.4 +33:27
M33 NGC 598 01:33.9 +30:39 SA(s)cd II-III 2300 60 25000
For dw E356-G04 02:39.9 -34:32 dE2
UGCA 86 03:59.9 +67:08
LMC 05:19.7 -68:57 SB(s)m 165 30 20000
Car dw E206-G220 06:14.6 -50:58 dE3
Leo A Leo III 09:59.4 +30:45 IBm V
Leo I Regulus G. 10:05.5 +12:19 dE3
Sex A DDO 75 10:11.1 -04:43 Ir+ V
Sex dw 10:13.2 -01:37 dE3
Leo II Leo B 11:13.5 +22:10 dE0 pec
GR 8 DDO 155 12:58.7 +14:13 Im V
UMi dw DDO 199 15:08.8 +67:12 dE4
Dra dw DDO 208 17:20.1 +57:55 dE0 pec
Milky Way 17:45.6 -28:56 SAB(s)bc I-II ? 30 100 750000
SagDEG (*) 18:55 -30:30 80
Sgr dw SagDIG (*) 19:30.1 -17:42 IB(s)m V
N6822 Barnard's 19:44.9 -14:49 IB(s)m IV-V
Aqr dw DDO 210 20:46.8 -12:51 Im V
IC5152 22:06.1 -51:17 IAB(s)m IV
Tuc dw 22:41.7 -64:25 dE5
Peg dw DDO 216 23:28.6 +14:45 Im V


RA, Dec:
Right Ascension and Declination for epoch 2000.0
Classification type from Tom Polakis' article
Distance in 1000 light years
Diameter in 1000 light years
Mass in million solar masses
Remarks (*):

As our Milky Way obscures parts of the sky, there is still a steady flow of new discoveries of galaxies, in low galactic latitudes (i.e., near the equatorial plane of our galaxy, where the obscuring dust is most dense). Also, some of the galaxies are of extreme low surface brightness, and it was only recently possible to detect them. Therefore, it must be expected that more Local Group members exist, obscurred by dust, or extremely faint, and are still waiting for their detection somewhen in the future.

Jeff Bondono has compiled a comprehensive list of Local Group member and member candidate galaxies.


You are invited to contribute more links which are of interest for this page; please email the maintainer.


Hartmut Frommert (

[SEDS] [Home]