A Sense of Scale Page 7

Satellite Dwarf Galaxies within 500,000 light years

1There are several dwarf galaxies around the Milky Way, typically containing a few tens of millions of stars, which is not much when compared to the number of stars in the Milky Way itself.

These dwarf galaxies are all gravitationally bound to the Milky Way.

In this region with a radius of 500,000 light years, there are 13 galaxies, one large one - the Milky Way - and 12 dwarfs. The number of stars within this region is estimated at 225 billion.

Image: Atlas of the Universe


The Large Magellanic Cloud is in reality 160,000 light years away. This corresponds in our scale model with a distance of 1.5 million km. That is 5 times the distance to the Moon.


The Large and Small Magellanic Clouds are visible
with the naked eye from the Southern Hemisphere.
Photo: Akira Fujii, Source Sky and Telescope.