This Wikipedia article states that Segue 1 is either a dwarf spheroidal galaxy or globular cluster associated with our own Milky Way. I am wondering what the difference is between dwarf spheroidal galaxies and globular clusters, since at first glance is seems that the morphological properties and stellar ages are similar between the two classes of objects.


2 Answers 2


There are many differences starting from size to the dark matter content... Please check the following link it has given much information : http://www.answers.com/topic/dwarf-spheroidal-galaxy


The main difference is if it is gravitationally bound to another galaxy or not.

A globullar cluster is a group of old stars inside a galaxy. It is not independent.

A galaxy is a group of stars, and a dwarf sheroidal galaxy is a group of (mainly) old stars, gravitationally bound in itself, but not bound inside a larger body (even when it can be orbiting a local group center of mass).

If Segue 1 is orbiting around Milky Way's center, it is a globullar cluster. If it is orbiting with Milky way about Local Group's center near Andromeda, then it is a dwarf spheroidal galaxy.

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    $\begingroup$ I would disagree with this. LMC and SMC, for example, orbit around the Milky Way, but are still dwarf galaxies and not 'clusters' of any sort. $\endgroup$
    – Takku
    Jul 10, 2014 at 11:26
  • $\begingroup$ This is incorrect. There are many so-called "satellite" galaxies that orbit the Milky Way without orbiting the Local Group's center. Check out this Wikipedia article for a list: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Milky_Way%27s_satellite_galaxies $\endgroup$ Jul 10, 2014 at 21:19
  • $\begingroup$ Please note that I referred to be bound inside a larger body. SMC and LMC are not inside Milky Way. $\endgroup$
    – Envite
    Jul 10, 2014 at 23:57
  • $\begingroup$ Is the Milky Way really orbiting? This is a related question regarding galaxy orbits that I found: physics.stackexchange.com/questions/129429/…. Don't just look at my answer, though. $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868
    Aug 5, 2014 at 18:50

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