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Matrix Software > Learng Astrology > Astrophysical Directions > External Galaxies > Snickers

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Snickers

A new member of our Local Group was discovered in 1975. It is a dwarf satellite of our galaxy, like the two Magellanic Clouds, but is located at less than a third of their distance! It has been hidden behind the rim or equatorial plane of the galaxy, the very nearest part of that rim, in Gemini and Auriga. It was detected only by its rapidly moving hydrogen clouds. It is estimated that 1 percent of the stars of magnitude 15 and below which appear in this part of the Milky Way must really belong to this new galaxy. The little galaxy is brushing so close to the Milky Way that is has been torn out into the shape of a long streamer by tidal forces; hence its enormous angular extent of over 45 degrees, from its core (55,000 light years away) near Almeisan in Gemini to its leading tip beyond Capella (Almeisan = Gamma Gemini, Capella = Alpha Auriga). The little dwarf galaxy has been unofficially christened "Snickers," due to its proximity to the Milky Way.

Most imortant: Here is a large and very near galaxy, a kind of a third Ma ellanic Cloud, that covers a significant portion of the heavens in the anti-center direction of our galaxy. On the Ecliptic, it extends from later Gemini through the first 10 degrees of Cancer, with a central core around the 6th degree of Cancer. "Snickers" is close enough to disrupt the outer portion of the spiral-arms of our galaxy!

New member of the Local Group

Copyright (c) 1997-99 Michael Erlewine


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