New research has given us a good idea of what the galactic neighborhood looks like out to about 34 million light years:
|Credit: Marshall McCall/York University|
Our Milky Way Galaxy of 300 billion plus stars and at least that many planets plus the larger Andromeda Galaxy are the main spiral galaxies of the neighborhood called the Local Group which extends to about 3 million light years. You may recall that the Milky Way and Andromeda are moving towards one another at a million miles per hour with a merger/collision to occur in about 5 billion years.
The 20 or so galaxies beyond our Local Group are in a narrow 1.5 million light year thick band extending out to 34 million light years across that forms our local cosmic filament structure - The Local Sheet. There are a dozen large galaxies called "Council of Giants" that may have constrained how our Local Group evolved.
The farther out you go from our galaxy the more galaxies we see and the more complex the structure of the Cosmic Web.
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