In the night sky: Orion
In the night sky: Orion

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

In the night sky: Orion

3.2.6 The Local group

Described image
Figure 11 The Local Group, includes over 30 galaxies such as our Milky Way, Andromeda, and the Magellanic Clouds

There are billions of galaxies in our Universe. Most of these are clumped together in groups.

Our Galaxy, The Milky Way, lies within a group of galaxies that are called ‘The Local Group’. The Local Group consists of about 30 galaxies. The three largest are the Andromeda galaxy, the Milky Way galaxy, and Triangulum. The Local Group is part of the much larger Virgo Supercluster of galaxies.

The Milky Way contains the debris of the many smaller galaxies it has encountered and devoured in the past, and it is currently absorbing the Sagittarius dwarf elliptical galaxy.

Help to discover more about galaxies with the Galaxy Zoo project you’ll hear about in the next section.

INS_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371