The Local Group
Our Sun and all the stars we see in the night sky are within the Milky Way galaxy, and the Milky Way is within a neighborhood of galaxies known as the Local Group. Studies of Local Group galaxies show how the stars, gas, dust, and dark matter are structured, what they are made of, and what physical processes are taking place within them. The nearby location of Local Group galaxies means that they can be studied in detail, and we can hope to use them to gain a deep understanding of the properties of present-day galaxies. Combining Local Group galaxy studies with studies of younger, more distant galaxies, we will better understand how the Milky Way came to take on its present form, and how galaxies in general have evolved over the age of the Universe.
Matthew Ashby, Nelson Caldwell, Giovanni Fazio, Andrew Szentgyorgyi, Guillermo Torres, Steve Willner