View larger. | Artist’s concept showing our Milky Way galaxy, its satellite galaxies, and other galaxies in our Local Group. The Milky Way isn’t really the center of anything; that’s just the way the image is drawn. The 3 largest galaxies in the Local Group are, in descending order, the Andromeda galaxy, the Milky Way, and M33 also known as the Triangulum Galaxy. Image via Wikimedia Commons.
We know where our galaxy is located, but only locally speaking. The Milky Way galaxy is one of more than 54 galaxies known as the Local Group. The three largest members of the group are our Milky Way (second-biggest), the Andromeda galaxy (biggest) and the Triangulum Galaxy. The other galaxies in the Local Group are dwarf galaxies, and they’re mostly clustered around the three larger galaxies.
The illustration above is a bit misleading because it suggests our Milky Way galaxy lies at the center of the Local Group. It doesn’t, of course, but the image is organized that way, presumably to honor our human perspective.
On the other hand, the Local Group does have a gravitational center. It’s somewhere between the Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy.
The Local Group has ...