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The Milky Way Galaxy is a fairly typical galaxy, but when paired with its close neighbors – the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds – it is very rare.
The team, led by Dr Aaron Robotham of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR), and the University of St Andrews in Scotland, searched for groups of galaxies similar to ours in the most detailed map of the local Universe yet, the Galaxy and Mass Assembly survey (GAMA).
“We found about 3% of galaxies similar to the Milky Way have companion galaxies like the Magellanic Clouds, which is very rare indeed. In total we found 14 galaxy systems that are similar to ours, with two of those being an almost exact match,” Dr Robotham explained.