Most distant galaxy in the Local Group

The dim bluish cluster at the centre of this image is the Sagittarius Dwarf Irregular Galaxy, the most distant member of the local group of galaxies that includes the Milky Way. This spectacular image was captured by the VIMOS instrument on the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope.

The Sagittarius Dwarf, discovered in 1977 with ESO’s 1-metre Schmidt telescope at the La Silla observatory, is about 3 million light years away. Such galaxies are typically smaller than large star swarms like the Milky Way and are often distorted by gravitational interactions with other nearby galaxies.

The Sagittarius Dwarf Irregular Galaxy, a distant neighbor of the Milky Way. Image: ESO/M. Bellazzini et al