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Here is a star map (from http://www.datasync.com/~rsf1/fun/sm-newd.gif ) given in Galactic coordinates. It appears to be presented in a similar (but not the same, since it is rectangular) projection to the one you show above. The Galactic centre is in the middle and the Large and Small Magellanic clouds are to the lower right and oriented in the same way. ...


The Milky-Way does not orbit the Andromeda galaxy, they both move under the influence of all the members of the local group. Even if one were orbiting the other the orbit need not be near circular but could be a very eccentric (elongated) ellipse. The projected merger is because the tangential component of Andromeda's velocity with respect to the Milky-Way ...

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