Maffei 1 Group

The Maffei 1 Group is the nearest group of galaxies to our own Local Group; it was probably once part of the Local Group but was ejected following a violent encounter with the Andromeda Galaxy. Its dominant member is the giant elliptical galaxy, Maffei 1, which, together with Maffei 2, was discovered on infrared plates in 1968 by the Italian astronomer Paolo Maffei (1926–2009). Both galaxies lie near the galactic equator in Cassiopeia in the so-called zone of avoidance and are thus heavily obscured at visible wavelengths by dust and gas. Maffei 2 is a medium-sized, average-brightness barred spiral galaxy (type SBc II) about 16 million light-years away, while the distance to Maffei 1 has been put at around 10 million light-years. Other known galaxies in the group are IC 342, Dwingeloo 1, Dwingeloo 2, and some smaller systems, including two possible satellites of Maffei 1.