Our Lonely Galaxy Probably Exists In The Middle Of Cosmic Nowhere

Our planet is full of life, but our galaxy is a different story. New research suggests we probably live in the middle of an intergalactic void.

Our Lonely Galaxy Probably Exists In The Middle Of Cosmic Nowhere
ESO/APEX/ATLASGAL consortium/NASA/GLIMPSE consortium/ESA/Planck

Our galaxy, the Milky Way, could be in one of the loneliest places in the universe. New data shows that our galaxy might not have many neighbors.

Astronomers counted how many galaxies they found as they looked farther and farther away from the Milky Way.

They saw many more galaxies at around the 1 billion light-year mark in all directions. That means we could be sitting in a region of space that's 2 billion light-years wide with few celestial bodies.

The Milky Way over the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope

Earth Doesn't Exactly Have The Best View For Studying The Milky Way

The Milky Way is bright and dusty, and we're stuck looking at it from the inside.


Scientists have found voids before, but ours is the largest we know about. It's at least seven times larger than average.

But, just like on Earth, we can't avoid our neighbors forever. The Milky Way is expected to collide with Andromeda, one of the few nearby galaxies, in about 4 billion years.