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Artist's drawing of the New Horizons spacecraft in space

Bill Schoening, Vanessa Harvey/REU program/NOAO/AURA/NSF

Our Milky Way galaxy's nearest large neighbor is the Andromeda galaxy, shown in this image. In the early 1900s, scientists generally thought that Andromeda was a nebula within our Milky Way. Astronomer Edwin Hubble's observations in the 1920s revealed that Andromeda and other similar nebulae are separate galaxies like our own Milky Way galaxy.