List of galaxies

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This is a general list of galaxies, for more specific lists, see lists of galaxies
Size (left) and distance (right) of a few well-known galaxies put to scale.

The following is a list of notable galaxies.

There are about 50 galaxies in our Local Group (see list of nearest galaxies for a complete list), on the order of 100,000 in our Local Supercluster and an estimated number of about 170 billion in all of the observable universe.

The discovery of the nature of galaxies as distinct from other nebulae (interstellar clouds) was made in the 1920s. The first attempts at systematic catalogues of galaxies were made in the 1960s the Catalogue of Galaxies and Clusters of Galaxies listing 29,418 galaxies and galaxy clusters, and with the Morphological Catalogue of Galaxies, a putatively complete list of galaxies with photographic magnitude above 15 comprising 30,642 items. In the 1980s, the Lyons Groups of Galaxies listed 485 galaxy groups with 3,933 member galaxies. Galaxy Zoo is a project aiming at a more comprehensive list: launched in July 2007, it has classified over one million galaxy images from The Sloan Digital Sky Survey, The Hubble Space Telescope and the Cosmic Assembly Near-Infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey.[1]

There is no universal naming convention for galaxies, as they are mostly catalogued before it is established whether the object is or isn't a galaxy. Mostly they are identified by their celestial coordinates together with the name of the observing project (HUDF, SDSS, 3C, CFHQS, NGC/IC, etc.)

Named galaxies[edit]

This is a list of galaxies that are well known by something other than an entry in a catalog or list, or a set of coordinates, or a systematic designation.

Image Galaxy Constellation Origin of name Notes
Andromeda Galaxy (with h-alpha).jpg Andromeda
(Andromeda Galaxy)
Andromeda It gets its name from the area of the sky in which it appears, the constellation of Andromeda It is the closest big galaxy to the Milky Way
Blackeyegalaxy.jpg Black Eye Galaxy Coma Berenices It has a spectacular dark band of absorbing dust in front of the galaxy's bright nucleus, giving rise to its nicknames of the "Black Eye" or "Evil Eye" galaxy.
Messier 81 HST.jpg Bode's Galaxy Ursa Major Named for Johann Elert Bode who discovered this galaxy in 1774.
Cartwheel Galaxy.jpg Cartwheel Galaxy Sculptor Its visual appearance is similar to that of a spoked cartwheel.
M82 HST ACS 2006-14-a-large web.jpg Cigar Galaxy Ursa Major Appears similar in shape to a cigar.
CometGalaxy.jpg Comet Galaxy Sculptor This galaxy is named after its unusual appearance, looking like a comet. The comet effect is caused by tidal stripping by its galaxy cluster, Abell 2667.
Hoag's object.jpg Hoag's Object Serpens Caput This is named after Art Hoag, who discovered this ring galaxy. It is of the subtype Hoag-type galaxy, and may in fact be a polar-ring galaxy with the ring in the plane of rotation of the central object. Large Magellanic Cloud Dorado/Mensa Named after Ferdinand Magellan This is the fourth largest galaxy in the Local Group, and forms a pair with the SMC, and from recent research, may not be part of the Milky Way system of satellites at all.
Small Magellanic Cloud (Digitized Sky Survey 2).jpg Small Magellanic Cloud Tucana Named after Ferdinand Magellan This forms a pair with the LMC, and from recent research, may not be part of the Milky Way system of satellites at all.
Hubble Interacting Galaxy Arp 148 (2008-04-24).jpg Mayall's Object Ursa Major This is named after Nicholas Mayall, of the Lick Observatory, who discovered it.[2][3][4] Also called VV 32 and Arp 148, this is a very peculiar looking object, and is likely to be not one galaxy, but two galaxies undergoing a collision. Event in images is a spindle shape and a ring shape.
M101 hires STScI-PRC2006-10a.jpg Pinwheel Galaxy Ursa Major Similar in appearance to a pinwheel (toy).
M104 ngc4594 sombrero galaxy hi-res.jpg Sombrero Galaxy Virgo Similar in appearance to a sombrero.
Messier 63 GALEX WikiSky.jpg Sunflower Galaxy Canes Venatici Appearance
UGC 10214HST.jpg Tadpole Galaxy Draco The name comes from the resemblance of the galaxy to a tadpole. This shape resulted from tidal interaction that drew out a long tidal tail.
Messier51 sRGB.jpg Whirlpool Galaxy Canes Venatici From the whirlpool appearance this gravitationally disturbed galaxy exhibits.

Naked-eye galaxies[edit]

This is a list of galaxies that are visible to the naked-eye, for at the very least, keen-eyed observers in a very dark-sky environment that is high in altitude, during clear and stable weather.

Naked-eye Galaxies
Galaxy Apparent Magnitude Distance Constellation Notes
Milky Way -26.74 (≈ (the Sun)[nb 1]) 0 Sagittarius (centre) This is our galaxy, most things visible to the naked-eye in the sky are part of it, including the Milky Way composing the Zone of Avoidance.[5]
Large Magellanic Cloud 0.9 160 kly (50 kpc) Dorado/Mensa Visible only from the southern hemisphere. It is also the brightest patch of nebulosity in the sky.[5][6][7]
Small Magellanic Cloud (NGC 292) 2.7 200 kly (60 kpc) Tucana Visible only from the southern hemisphere.[5][8]
Andromeda Galaxy (M31, NGC 224) 3.4 2.5 Mly (780 kpc) Andromeda Once called the Great Andromeda Nebula, it is situated in the Andromeda constellation.[5][9]
Triangulum Galaxy (M33, NGC 598) 5.7 2.9 Mly (900 kpc) Triangulum Being a diffuse object, its visibility is strongly affected by even small amounts of light pollution, ranging from easily visible in direct vision in truly dark skies to a difficult averted vision object in rural/suburban skies.[10]
Centaurus A (NGC 5128) 6.84 13.7 ± 0.9 Mly (4.2 ± 0.3 Mpc) Centaurus Centaurus A has been spotted with the naked eye by Stephen James O'Meara[11]
Bode's Galaxy (M81, NGC 3031) 6.94 12 Mly (3.6 Mpc) Ursa Major Highly experienced amateur astronomers may be able to see Messier 81 under exceptional observing conditions.[12][13][14]
Sculptor Galaxy (NGC 253) 8.0 11.4 ± 0.7 Mly (3.5 ± 0.2 Mpc) Sculptor According to Brian A. Skiff, the naked-eye visibility of this galaxy is discussed in an old Sky & Telescope letter or note from the late 1960s or early 1970s.[15]
Messier 83 (NGC 5236) 8.2 14.7 Mly (4.5 Mpc) Hydra M83 has reportedly been seen with the naked eye.[16]

Observational firsts[edit]

First Galaxy Constellation Year Notes
First galaxy Milky Way Galaxy & Andromeda Galaxy Sagittarius (centre) & Andromeda 1923 Edwin Hubble determined the distance to the Andromeda Nebula, and found that it could not be part of the Milky Way, so defining that Milky Way was not the entire universe, and making the two separate objects, and two galaxies. However, the first galaxies seen would be all of the naked-eye galaxies, but they were not identified as such until the 20th century.
First radio galaxy Cygnus A Cygnus 1951 [17]
First radio galaxy Cygnus A Cygnus 1952 Of several items, then called radio stars, Cygnus A was identified with a distant galaxy, being the first of many radio stars to become a radio galaxy.[18]
First quasar 3C273
3C273 was the first quasar with its redshift determined, and by some considered the first quasar. 3C48 was the first "radio-star" with an unreadable spectrum, and by others considered the first quasar.
First Seyfert galaxy NGC 1068 (M77) Cetus 1908 The characteristics of Seyfert galaxies were first observed in M77 in 1908, however, Seyferts were defined as a class in 1943.[19]
First low-surface-brightness galaxy Malin 1 Coma Berenices 1986 Malin 1 was the first verified LSB galaxy. LSB galaxies had been first theorized in 1976.[20]
First superluminal galactic jet 3C279 Virgo 1971 The jet is emitted by a quasar
First superluminal jet from a Seyfert III Zw 2 Pisces[21] 2000 [22]
First spiral galaxy Whirlpool Galaxy Canes Venatici 1845 Lord William Parsons, Earl of Rosse discovered the first spiral nebula from observing the M51 white nebula.[23]


This is a list of galaxies that became prototypes for a class of galaxies.

Prototype Galaxies
Class Galaxy Constellation Date Notes
BL Lac object BL Lacertae (BL Lac) Lacerta This AGN was originally catalogued as a variable star, and "stars" of its type are considered BL Lac objects.
Hoag-type Galaxy Hoag's Object Serpens Caput This is the prototype Hoag-type Ring Galaxy
Giant LSB galaxy Malin 1 Coma Berenices 1986 [24]
FR II radio galaxy
(double-lobed radio galaxy)
Cygnus A Cygnus 1951 [25]

Closest and most distant known galaxies by type[edit]

Title Galaxy Constellation Distance Notes
Closest galaxy Canis Major Dwarf Canis Major 0.025 Mly Discovered in 2003, a satellite of the Milky Way, slowly being cannibalized by it.
Most distant galaxy EGS-zs8-1 Boötes z=7.730 With an estimated distance of about 13.1 billion light-years, astronomers announced it as the farthest astronomical galaxy known.[26][27][28][29]
Closest quasar 3C 273 Virgo z=0.158 First identified quasar, this is the most commonly accepted nearest quasar.
Most distant quasar ULAS J1120+0641 Leo z=7.085 Discovered in June 29, 2011 via UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey; first quasar discovered beyond the redshift of 7.
Closest radio galaxy Centaurus A (NGC 5128, PKS 1322-427) Centaurus 13.7 Mly [30]
Most distant radio galaxy TN J0924-2201 Hydra z=5.2
Closest Seyfert galaxy Circinus Galaxy Circinus 13 Mly This is also the closest Seyfert 2 galaxy. The closest Seyfert 1 galaxy is NGC 4151.
Most distant Seyfert galaxy z=
Closest blazar Markarian 421 (Mrk 421, Mkn 421, PKS 1101+384, LEDA 33452) Ursa Major z=0.030 This is a BL Lac object.[31][32]
Most distant known blazar Q0906+6930 Ursa Major z=5.47 This is a flat spectrum radio-loud quasar type blazar.[33][34]
Closest BL Lac object Markarian 421 (Mkn 421, Mrk 421, PKS 1101+384, LEDA 33452) Ursa Major z=0.030 [31][32]
Most distant BL Lac object z=
Closest LINER
Most distant LINER z=
Closest LIRG
Most distant LIRG z=
Closest ULIRG IC 1127 (Arp 220/APG 220) Serpens Caput z=0.018 [35]
Most distant ULIRG z=
Closest starburst galaxy Cigar Galaxy (M82, Arp 337/APG 337, 3C 231, Ursa Major A) Ursa Major 3.2 Mpc [36][37]
Most distant starburst galaxy SPT 0243-49 z= 5.698 [38][39]

Closest galaxies[edit]

5 Closest Galaxies
Rank Galaxy Distance Notes
1 Milky Way Galaxy 0 This is our galaxy, we are part of it.
2 Canis Major Dwarf 0.025 Mly
3 Virgo Stellar Stream 0.030 Mly
4 Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy 0.081 Mly
5 Large Magellanic Cloud 0.163 Mly Largest satellite galaxy of the Milky Way
6 Small Magellanic Cloud 0.197 Mly
  • Mly represents millions of light-years, a measure of distance.
  • Distances are measured from Earth, with Earth being at zero.
Nearest Galaxies by Type
Title Galaxy Date Distance Notes
Nearest galaxy Milky Way always 0 This is our galaxy
Nearest galaxy to our own Canis Major Dwarf 2003 0.025 Mly The absolute closest galaxy
Nearest dwarf galaxy Canis Major Dwarf 2003 0.025 Mly
Nearest major galaxy to our own Andromeda Galaxy always 2.54 Mly First identified as a separate galaxy in 1923
Nearest giant galaxy Centaurus A 12 Mly
Nearest Neighboring Galaxy Title-holder
Galaxy Date Distance Notes
Canis Major Dwarf 2003 0.025 Mly
Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy 1994 − 2003 0.081 Mly
Large Magellanic Cloud antiquity − 1994 0.163 Mly This is the upper bound, as it is nearest galaxy observable with the naked-eye.
Small Magellanic Cloud 1913–1914 0.197 Mly This was the first intergalactic distance measured. In 1913, Ejnar Hertzsprung measures the distance to SMC using Cepheid variables. In 1914, he did it for LMC.
Andromeda Galaxy 1923 2.5 Mly This was the first galaxy determined to be not part of the Milky Way.
  • Mly represents millions of light-years, a measure of distance.
  • Distances are measured from Earth, with Earth being at zero.

Farthest galaxies[edit]

Most Remote Galaxies by Type
Title Galaxy Date Redshift Notes
Candidate most remote galaxy (photometric redshift) UDFj-39546284 2011 z=11.9(?) This was proposed to be the remotest object known at time of discovery. In late 2012, its distance was revised from z=10.3 to 11.9,[40][41] however, recent re-analyses suggest it is likely to be at much lower redshift.[42]
Most remote galaxy confirmed (spectroscopic redshift) EGS-zs8-1 2015 z=7.730 As of May 2015, EGS-zs8-1 was the most distant known galaxy. The galaxy was determined to be 13.1 billion light-years away and to have 15% of the mass of the Milky Way.[26][27][28][29]
Most remote quasar ULAS J1120+0641 2011 z=7.085 This is the undisputed most remote quasar of any type, and the first with a redshift beyond 7.
Further information: List of quasars
Most distant non-quasar SMG Baby Boom Galaxy (EQ J100054+023435) 2008 z=4.547 [43]
grand-design spiral galaxy Q2343-BX442 2012 z=2.18 [44]
  • z represents redshift, a measure of recessional velocity and inferred distance due to cosmological expansion
Timeline of Most Remote Galaxy Record-holders
Galaxy Date Redshift Notes
EGS-zs8-1 2015 −  z=7.730 [26][45]
Z8 GND 5296 2013 − 2015 z=7.51 [46]
SXDF-NB1006-2 2012 − 2013 z=7.215 [47]
GN-108036 2012 − 2012 z=7.213 [48]
BDF-3299 2012 − 2013 z=7.109 [49]
IOK-1 2006 − 2010 z=6.96 This was the remotest object known at time of discovery. In 2009, gamma ray burst GRB 090423 was discovered at z=8.2, taking the title of most distant object. The next galaxy to hold the title also succeeded GRB 090423, that being UDFy-38135539.[50][51][52]
SDF J132522.3+273520 2005 − 2006 z=6.597 This was the remotest object known at time of discovery.[52][53]
SDF J132418.3+271455 2003 − 2005 z=6.578 This was the remotest object known at time of discovery.[53][54][55][56]
HCM-6A 2002 − 2003 z=6.56 This was the remotest object known at time of discovery. The galaxy is lensed by galaxy cluster Abell 370. This was the first galaxy, as opposed to quasar, found to exceed redshift 6. It exceeded the redshift of quasar SDSSp J103027.10+052455.0 of z=6.28[54][55][57][58][59][60]
SSA22−HCM1 1999 − 2002 z=5.74 This was the remotest object known at time of discovery. In 2000, the quasar SDSSp J104433.04-012502.2 was discovered at z=5.82, becoming the most remote object in the universe known. This was followed by another quasar, SDSSp J103027.10+052455.0 in 2001, the first object exceeding redshift 6, at z=6.28[61][62]
HDF 4-473.0 1998 − 1999 z=5.60 This was the remotest object known at the time of discovery.[62]
RD1 (0140+326 RD1) 1998 z=5.34 This was the remotest object known at time of discovery. This was the first object found beyond redshift 5.[62][63][64][65][66]
CL 1358+62 G1 & CL 1358+62 G2 1997 − 1998 z=4.92 These were the remotest objects known at the time of discovery. The pair of galaxies were found lensed by galaxy cluster CL1358+62 (z=0.33). This was the first time since 1964 that something other than a quasar held the record for being the most distant object in the universe. It exceeded the mark set by quasar PC 1247-3406 at z=4.897[62][64][65][67][68][69]

From 1964 to 1997, the title of most distant object in the universe were held by a succession of quasars.[69] That list is available at list of quasars.

8C 1435+63 1994 − 1997 z=4.25 This is a radio galaxy. At the time of its discovery, quasar PC 1247-3406 at z=4.73, discovered in 1991 was the most remote object known. This was the last radio galaxy to hold the title of most distant galaxy. This was the first galaxy, as opposed to quasar, that was found beyond redshift 4.[62][70][71][72]
4C 41.17 1990 − 1994 z=3.792 This is a radio galaxy. At the time of its discovery, quasar PC 1158+4635, discovered in 1989, was the most remote object known, at z=4.73 In 1991, quasar PC 1247-3406, became the most remote object known, at z=4.897[62][71][72][73][74]
1 Jy 0902+343 (GB6 B0902+3419, B2 0902+34) 1988 − 1990 z=3.395 This is a radio galaxy. At the time of discovery, quasar Q0051-279 at z=4.43, discovered in 1987, was the most remote object known. In 1989, quasar PC 1158+4635 was discovered at z=4.73, making it the most remote object known. This was the first galaxy discovered above redshift 3. It was also the first galaxy found above redshift 2.[62][74][75][76][77]
3C 256 1984 − 1988 z=1.819 This is a radio galaxy. At the time, the most remote object was quasar PKS 2000-330, at z=3.78, found in 1982.[62][78]
3C 241 1984 z=1.617 This is a radio galaxy. At the time, the most remote object was quasar PKS 2000-330, at z=3.78, found in 1982.[79][80]
3C 324 1983 − 1984 z=1.206 This is a radio galaxy. At the time, the most remote object was quasar PKS 2000-330, at z=3.78, found in 1982.[62][79][81]
3C 65 1982 − 1983 z=1.176 This is a radio galaxy. At the time, the most remote object was quasar OQ172, at z=3.53, found in 1974. In 1982, quasar PKS 2000-330 at z=3.78 became the most remote object.
3C 368 1982 z=1.132 This is a radio galaxy. At the time, the most remote object was quasar OQ172, at z=3.53, found in 1974.[62]
3C 252 1981 − 1982 z=1.105 This is a radio galaxy. At the time, the most remote object was quasar OQ172, at z=3.53, found in 1974.
3C 6.1 1979 - z=0.840 This is a radio galaxy. At the time, the most remote object was quasar OQ172, at z=3.53, found in 1974.[62][82]
3C 318 1976 - 0.752 This is a radio galaxy. At the time, the most remote object was quasar OQ172, at z=3.53, found in 1974.[62]
3C 411 1975 - 0.469 This is a radio galaxy. At the time, the most remote object was quasar OQ172, at z=3.53, found in 1974.[62]

From 1964 to 1997, the title of most distant object in the universe were held by a succession of quasars.[69] That list is available at list of quasars.

3C 295 1960 - z=0.461 This is a radio galaxy. This was the remotest object known at time of discovery of its redshift. This was the last non-quasar to hold the title of most distant object known until 1997. In 1964, quasar 3C 147 became the most distant object in the universe known.[62][69][83][84][85]
LEDA 25177 (MCG+01-23-008) 1951 − 1960 z=0.2
(V=61000 km/s)
This galaxy lies in the Hydra Supercluster. It is located at B1950.0 08h 55m 4s +03° 21′ and is the BCG of the fainter Hydra Cluster Cl 0855+0321 (ACO 732).[62][85][86][87][88][89][90][91]
LEDA 51975 (MCG+05-34-069) 1936 - z=0.13
(V=39000 km/s)
The brightest cluster galaxy of the Bootes cluster (ACO 1930), an elliptical galaxy at B1950.0 14h 30m 6s +31° 46′ apparent magnitude 17.8, was found by Milton L. Humason in 1936 to have a 40,000 km/s recessional redshift velocity.[89][92][93]
LEDA 20221 (MCG+06-16-021) 1932 - z=0.075
(V=23000 km/s)
This is the BCG of the Gemini Cluster (ACO 568) and was located at B1950.0 07h 05m 0s +35° 04′[92][94]
BCG of WMH Christie's Leo Cluster 1931 − 1932 z=
(V=19700 km/s)
BCG of Baede's Ursa Major Cluster 1930 − 1931 z=
(V=11700 km/s)
NGC 4860 1929 − 1930 z=0.026
(V=7800 km/s)
NGC 7619 1929 z=0.012
(V=3779 km/s)
Using redshift measurements, NGC 7619 was the highest at the time of measurement. At the time of announcement, it was not yet accepted as a general guide to distance, however, later in the year, Edwin Hubble described redshift in relation to distance, leading to a seachange, and having this being accepted as an inferred distance.[99][101][102]
NGC 584 (Dreyer nebula 584) 1921 − 1929 z=0.006
(V=1800 km/s)
At the time, nebula had yet to be accepted as independent galaxies. However, in 1923, galaxies were generally recognized as external to the Milky Way.[89][99][101][103][104][105][106]
M104 (NGC 4594) 1913 − 1921 z=0.004
(V=1180 km/s)
This was the second galaxy whose redshift was determined; the first being Andromeda - which is approaching us and thus cannot have its redshift used to infer distance. Both were measured by Vesto Melvin Slipher. At this time, nebula had yet to be accepted as independent galaxies. NGC 4594 was originally measured as 1000 km/s, then refined to 1100, and then to 1180 in 1916.[99][103][106]
M81 antiquity - 20th century
antiquity - 1913 (based on redshift)
antiquity - 1930 (based on Cepheids)
11.8 Mly (z=-0.10) This is the lower bound, as it is remotest galaxy observable with the naked-eye. It is 12 million light-years away. Redshift cannot be used to infer distance, because it is moving toward us faster than cosmological expansion.
Messier 101 1930 - Using the pre-1950s Cepheid measurements, M101 was one of the most distant so measured.
Triangulum Galaxy 1924–1930 In 1924, Edwin Hubble announced the distance to M33 Triangulum.
Andromeda Galaxy 1923–1924 In 1923, Edwin Hubble measured the distance to Andromeda, and settled the question of whether or not there were galaxies, or if everything was in the Milky Way.
Small Magellanic Cloud 1913–1923 This was the first intergalactic distance measured. In 1913, Ejnar Hertzsprung measures the distance to SMC using Cepheid variables.
  • z represents redshift, a measure of recessional velocity and inferred distance due to cosmological expansion
  • quasars and other AGN are not included on this list, since they are only galactic cores, unless the host galaxy was observed when it was most distant


  • A1689-zD1, discovered in 2008, with z=7.6, does not appear on this list because it has not been confirmed with a spectroscopic redshift.
  • IOK4 and IOK5, discovered in 2007, with z=7, do not appear on this list because they have not been confirmed with a spectroscopic redshift.
  • Abell 1835 IR1916, discovered in 2004, with z=10.0, does not appear on this list because its claimed redshift is disputed. Some follow-up observations have failed to find the object at all.
  • STIS 123627+621755, discovered in 1999, with z=6.68, does not appear on this list because its redshift was based on an erroneous interpretation of an oxygen emission line as a hydrogen emission line.[108][109][110]
  • BR1202-0725 LAE, discovered in 1998 at z=5.64 does not appear on the list because it was not definitively pinned. BR1202-0725 (QSO 1202-07) refers to a quasar that the Lyman alpha emitting galaxy is near. The quasar itself lies at z=4.6947[63][66]
  • Two absorption dropouts in the spectrum of quasar BR 1202-07 (QSO 1202-0725, BRI 1202-0725, BRI1202-07) were found, one in early 1996, another later in 1996. Neither of these appear on the list because they were not definitively pinned down at the time. The early one was at z=4.38, the later one at z=4.687, the quasar itself lies at z=4.695[62][113][114][115][116]
  • In 1986, a gravitationally lensed galaxy forming a blue arc was found lensed by galaxy cluster CL 2224-02 (C12224 in some references). However, its redshift was only determined in 1991, at z=2.237, by which time, it would no longer be the most distant galaxy known.[117][118]
  • An absorption drop was discovered in 1985 in the light spectrum of quasar PKS 1614+051 at z=3.21 This does not appear on the list because it was not definitively fixed down. At the time, it was claimed to be the first non-QSO galaxy found beyond redshift 3. The quasar itself is at z=3.197[62][119]
  • In 1975, 3C 123 was incorrectly determined to lie at z=0.637 (actually z=0.218)[120][121]
  • From 1964 to 1997, the title of most distant object in the universe was held by a succession of quasars.[69] That list is available at list of quasars.
  • In 1958, cluster Cl 0024+1654 and Cl 1447+2619 were estimated to have redshifts of z=0.29 and z=0.35 respectively. However, no galaxy was spectroscopically determined.[85]

Galaxies by brightness and power[edit]

Title Galaxy Data Notes
Intrinsically brightest galaxy Baby Boom Galaxy [verification needed] Starburst galaxy located 12 billion light years away
Brightest galaxy to the naked eye Large Magellanic Cloud Apparent magnitude 0.6 This galaxy has high surface brightness combined with high apparent brightness.
Intrinsically faintest galaxy Boötes Dwarf Galaxy (Boo dSph) Absolute magnitude -6.75 This does not include dark galaxies.
Lowest surface brightness galaxy Andromeda IX
Most luminous galaxy WISE J224607.57-052635.0 As of May 21, 2015, WISE-J224607.57-052635.0-20150521 is the most luminous galaxy discovered and releases 10,000 times more energy than the Milky Way galaxy, although smaller. Nearly 100 percent of the light escaping from this dusty galaxy is infrared radiation.[122][123] (Image)

Galaxies by mass and density[edit]

Title Galaxy Data Notes
Least massive galaxy Segue 2 ~550,000 MSun This is not considered a star cluster, as it is held together by the gravitational effects of dark matter rather than just the mutual attraction of the constituent stars, gas and black holes.[124][125]
Most massive galaxy ESO 146-IG 005 ~30×1012 MSun Central galaxy in Abell 3827, 1.4 Gly distant.[126][127]
Most dense galaxy M60-UCD1 [128] This is an ultra-compact dwarf galaxy[129] near Messier 60,[130] and is suspected to be the stripped core remnant of a much larger galaxy.[131]
Least dense galaxy
Most massive spiral galaxy ISOHDFS 27 1.04×1012 MSun The preceding most massive spiral was UGC 12591[132]
Least massive galaxy with globular cluster(s) Andromeda I [133]

Field galaxies[edit]

List of field galaxies
Galaxy Data Notes
NGC 4555
SDSS J1021+1312 [134]

A field galaxy is a galaxy that does not belong to a larger cluster of galaxies and hence is gravitationally alone.

Interacting galaxies[edit]

galaxies in tidal interaction
Galaxies Data Notes
The Magellanic Clouds are being tidally disrupted by the Milky Way Galaxy, resulting in the Magellanic Stream drawing a tidal tail away from the LMC and SMC, and the Magellanic Bridge drawing material from the clouds to our galaxy.
The smaller galaxy NGC 5195 is tidally interacting with the larger Whirlpool Galaxy, creating its grand design spiral galaxy architecture.
These three galaxies interact with each other and draw out tidal tails, which are dense enough to form star clusters. The bridge of gas between these galaxies is known as Arp's Loop.[135]
NGC 6872 is a barred spiral galaxy with a grand design spiral nucleus, and distinct well-formed outer barred-spiral architecture, caused by tidal interaction with satellite galaxy IC 4970.
Tadpole Galaxy The Tadpole Galaxy tidally interacted with another galaxy in a close encounter, and remains slightly disrupted, with a long tidal tail.
galaxies in non-merger significant collision
Galaxies Data Notes
Arp 299 (NGC 3690 & IC 694) These two galaxies have recently collided and are now both barred irregular galaxies.
galaxies disrupted post significant non-merger collisions
Galaxies Data Notes
Mayall's Object This is a pair of galaxies, one which punched through the other, resulting in a ring galaxy.

Galaxy mergers[edit]

galaxies undergoing near-equal merger
Galaxies Data Notes
Antennae Galaxies (Ringtail Galaxy, NGC 4038 & NGC 4039, Arp 244) 2 galaxies Two spiral galaxies currently starting a collision, tidally interacting, and in the process of merger.
Butterfly Galaxies (Siamese Twins Galaxies, NGC 4567 & NGC 4568) 2 galaxies Two spiral galaxies in the process of starting to merge.
Mice Galaxies (NGC 4676, NGC 4676A & NGC 4676B, IC 819 & IC 820, Arp 242) 2 galaxies Two spiral galaxies currently tidally interacting and in the process of merger.
NGC 520 2 galaxies Two spiral galaxies undergoing collision, in the process of merger.
NGC 2207 and IC 2163 (NGC 2207 & IC 2163) 2 galaxies These are two spiral galaxies starting to collide, in the process of merger.
NGC 5090 and NGC 5091 (NGC 5090 & NGC 5091) 2 galaxies These two galaxies are in the process of colliding and merging.
NGC 7318 (Arp 319, NGC 7318A & NGC 7318B) 2 galaxies These are two starting to collide
Four galaxies in CL0958+4702 4 galaxies These four near-equals at the core of galaxy cluster CL 0958+4702 are in the process of merging.[136]
Galaxy protocluster LBG-2377 z=3.03 This was announced as the most distant galaxy merger ever discovered. It is expected that this proto-cluster of galaxies will merge to form a brightest cluster galaxy, and become the core of a larger galaxy cluster.[137][138]
recently merged galaxies of near-equals
Galaxy Data Notes
Starfish Galaxy (NGC 6240, IC 4625) This recently coalesced galaxy still has two prominent nuclei.
galaxies undergoing disintegration by cannibalization
Disintegrating Galaxy Consuming Galaxy Notes
Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy Milky Way Galaxy The Monoceros Ring is thought to be the tidal tail of the disrupted CMa dg.
Virgo Stellar Stream Milky Way Galaxy This is thought to be a completely disrupted dwarf galaxy.
Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy Milky Way Galaxy M54 is thought to be the core of this dwarf galaxy.
objects considered destroyed galaxies
Defunct Galaxy Destroyer Notes
Omega Centauri Milky Way Galaxy This is now categorized a globular cluster of the Milky Way. However, it is considered the core of a dwarf galaxy that the Milky Way cannibalized.[139]
Mayall II Andromeda Galaxy This is now categorized a globular cluster of Andromeda. However, it is considered the core of a dwarf galaxy that Andromeda cannibalized.

Galaxies with some other notable feature[edit]

Galaxy name Distance Constellation Property Notes
Cigar Galaxy Ursa Major Also known as Messier 82. This is the prototype starburst galaxy.
M87 Virgo This is the central galaxy of the Virgo Cluster, the central cluster of the Local Supercluster[140]
M102 Draco (Ursa Major) [clarification needed] This galaxy cannot be definitively identified, with the most likely candidate being NGC 5866, and a good chance of it being a misidentification of M101. Other candidates have also been suggested.
NGC 2770 Lynx "Supernova Factory" NGC 2770 is referred to as the "Supernova Factory" due to three recent supernovae occurring within it.
NGC 3314 (NGC 3314a and NGC 3314b) Hydra exact visual alignment This is a pair of spiral galaxies, one superimposed on another, at two separate and distinct ranges, and unrelated to each other. It is a rare chance visual alignment.
ESO 137-001 Triangulum Australe "tail" feature Lying in the galaxy cluster Abell 3627, this galaxy is being stripped of its gas by the pressure of the intracluster medium (ICM), due to its high speed traversal through the cluster, and is leaving a high density tail with large amounts of star formation. The tail features the largest amount of star formation outside of a galaxy seen so far. The galaxy has the appearance of a comet, with the head being the galaxy, and a tail of gas and stars.[141][142][143][144]
Comet Galaxy Sculptor interacting with a galaxy cluster Lying in galaxy cluster Abell 2667, this spiral galaxy is being tidally stripped of stars and gas through its high speed traversal through the cluster, having the appearance of a comet.
4C 37.11 230 Mpc Perseus Least separation between binary central black holes, at 24 ly (7.3 pc) OJ 287 has an inferred pair with a 12-year orbital period, and thus would be much closer than 4C 37.11's pair.
SDSS J150636.30+540220.9 ("SDSS J1506+54") z=0.608 Boötes
15h 06m 36.30s+54° 02′ 20.9″
Most efficient star production Most extreme example in the list of moderate-redshift galaxies with the highest density starbursts yet observed found in the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer data (Diamond-Stanic et al. 2012).[145]

Lists of galaxies[edit]

Main article: Lists of galaxies

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Using the formula for addition of apparent magnitudes, the added magnitudes of all stars in the Milky Way but our Sun (-6.50) and our Sun (-26.74) differs from the apparent magnitude of just our sun by less than 10^-8


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External links[edit]