Encyclopædia Galactica Rami T. F. Rekola Tuorlan Astronomical Society Tuorla Observatory University of Turku

The Local Group of Galaxies

This is an attempt to visualize the appearance of the Local Group of galaxies. The galaxies are shown in supergalactic cartesian coordinate system (the axis are SGX, SGY, and SGZ). Units are in kiloparsecs, which means the whole depicted box is 1.0 by 1.0 megaparsecs in area and 0.7 megaparsecs high. The supergalactic plane is shown as a grey plane across the drawing.

Location of each galaxy is depicted in two ways: if a galaxy is above the supergalactic plane, then it has a bluish line under it showing how high it is from the plane and if the galaxy is below the supergalactic plane, it has a greenish line above it showing how far below the plane the galaxy is. Each galaxy is also projected to SGX-SGZ plane and SGY-SGZ plane. The projection is shown with a blue dot on the plane. Positions of Milky Way and Andromeda Galaxy on the supergalactic plane are also shown with a white circle around the projection point. Each galaxy also has a grey line connecting it to the projection dots. Unfortunately the density of the lines is so high in certain areas that it is difficult to distinguish them from each other. The size of the galaxies is supposed to assist the 3D impression. The larger the galaxy appears on the image, the closer it is to the viewer. Actual sizes of galaxies are so small that most of the galaxies would not be visible at all in this image. Colours of galaxies indicate their classification: yellow is for spiral galaxies, red for spheroidal and elliptical galaxies, and cyan (light blue) for irregular galaxies. And VIII is without classification and is shown brown. A couple of galaxies have uncertain classification, indicated by colours for both suggested classes.

3D image of the Local Group of galaxies