(Submitted February 06, 2002)
What galaxy is closest to ours and how far is it from the earth?
For a long time, the Large Magellanic Cloud, an irregular type satellite
galaxy of our own, was held to be the closest galaxy to the Milky Way. It
is 179,000 light-years away.
But in 1994 the Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy was discovered at
80,000 light-years. It now holds the honor.
Amy C. Fredericks and Michael Loewenstein
for Ask an Astrophysicist
PS. For a more recent update, see the "Nearest Galaxies information"
which is part of our Cosmic Distance Scale site: