Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

April 23, 1997
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Antlia: A New Galactic Neighbor
Credit and Copyright:
M. Irwin (RGO), A. Whiting & G. Hau (IoA, Cambridge)

Explanation: Meet Antlia, a newly discovered neighbor of our Milky Way Galaxy. Announced just last week, this faint member of our Local Group of Galaxies has only about one million stars. It is late in being noticed because it is so hard to see against a bright sky. This faint galaxy is seen here in the background - the bright stars visible are in our own galaxy. The Antlia Dwarf Galaxy is actually a dwarf spheroidal galaxy, similar to nine known dwarf spheroidals that orbit our Milky Way Galaxy. Antlia, named for the constellation in which it resides, is unusual because it does not hover near either of the two major galaxies of the Local Group: our Milky Way Galaxy and M31.

Tomorrow's picture: The Frothy MilkyWay

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