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 horizontal axis is SGX and vertical axis SGY, which means the image shows the supergalactic plane. Units are in kilo parsecs.

The third dimension is depicted by the size and colour of the galaxies. The smaller and lighter in colour the galaxy is the further away it is. Therefore the largest and darkest circles are the ones closest to the viewer. True sizes of galaxies are so small that most galaxies would be too small to show at all in this image.

The image shows also three rings centred on the origin of the supergalactic coordinate system (i.e. the solar system). The rings indicate various distances from the origin. There is another similar ring centred on the Andromeda Galaxy.

If you compare this image with the true 3D image, you will see that the true image shows the Local Group from a direction that is to the upper left in this image.

2D image of the Local Group of galaxies