The Milky Way galaxy is the home to our solar system, and the next closest galaxy is Andromeda (smaller, companion galaxies are nearer, but they are considered to be satellites of the Milky Way). Like the Milky Way, Andromeda is a spiral galaxy and has satellite galaxies of its own. Andromeda is 2.2 million lights year away and is approaching the Milky Way at a rate of 670,000 mph (1,078,260 kph) – which puts it on course for collision with our galaxy in around 5 billion years from now.
photo: ESO/Y. Beletsky