The Local Group is a small cluster of galaxies that includes the Milky Way. At least half of all galaxies in the Universe are thought to belong to similar groups. This authoritative volume provides a comprehensive synthesis of what is known about the Local Group. It begins with a summary of each member galaxy, as well as those galaxies previously regarded as possible members. The book examines the mass, stability and evolution of the Local Group as a whole and includes many important previously unpublished results and conclusions. With clarity, Professor van den Bergh provides a masterful summary of all that is known about the galaxies of the Local Group and their evolution, and expertly places this knowledge in the wider context of on-going studies of galaxy formation and evolution, the cosmic distance scale, and the conditions in the early Universe.

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