For a long time, most thought it was the Andromeda Galaxy, a spiral galaxy much like the Milky Way, being about 2 million light years away. Other smaller galaxies were discovered by astronomers to be closer, such as the Magellanic Clouds and the Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy, each only being within about a few hundred thousand light years from us. In recent years, scientists discovered the Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy, only holding about one billion stars, within about 25,000 light years from our solar system. It was discovered by doing inferred scans of our own galaxy, with the signatures of cooler Red Giant stars showing up distinctly among the other lights in the sky.
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