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I know that the Milky Way is a member of the Local Group and the Virgo Supercluster / Laniakea Supercluster. However, I can't seem to find any information about the Galaxy cluster we belong to.

Does the Local Group / Milky Way belong to a galaxy cluster?

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The Local Group contains 54 plus galaxies. Don't know that that counts as much of a cluster. Next up in scale, the Milky way is part of the Laniakea Supercluster That contains about 100,000 galaxies, so it's a bit on the large size to call a simple cluster. The well known Virgo Cluster contains about 1300 galaxies. So it's clearly a thing of intermediate scale.

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  • $\begingroup$ Obvious follow-on question -- would it make any difference if it was? Are galaxies formed in 1000+ galaxy clusters significantly different from galaxies formed in small groups. $\endgroup$ Apr 9 '18 at 19:39
  • $\begingroup$ @SteveLinton I'd not be surprised if there were differences in the morphological distribution of galaxies between walls, filaments, and nodes of the galactic foam, but I've never seen anything written up on that. $\endgroup$ Apr 9 '18 at 21:17
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    $\begingroup$ There is the well-established "morphology-density relation", which tells you that ellipticals and S0 galaxies are more common -- and spirals are less common -- in denser environments like clusters. $\endgroup$ Dec 27 '20 at 14:59
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The milky way is not part of a galaxy cluster. The local group is on a lobe of the Virgo supercluster.

Not all galaxies are members of large clusters, ours is in a small group. However the only difference between "group" and "cluster" is the size.

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    $\begingroup$ There are actually a number of differences between groups and clusters, though the transition is rather gradual. Galaxies in clusters move at higher velocities and are less likely to be spirals; in addition, clusters tend to have a lot of gas outside the galaxies in the form of tenuous, very hot X-ray-emitting gas. $\endgroup$ Dec 27 '20 at 15:01

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