The Local Group of Galaxies is the small, loose cluster to which our Milky Way
Galaxy belongs. It consists of approximately 36 known members, most of which are
dwarf galaxies. This Atlas includes identification charts for 32 members for which
identification atlases have not hitherto been published. There are numerous atlases of
various sorts for the Milky Way Galaxy and there is a published atlas for M31 and its
two close companions, M32 and NGC 205 (Hodge 1981). The Magellanic Clouds
have also been covered by identification atlases (Hodge and Wright 1967 and 1977).
Water is one of the basic elements for life. It is even assumed that the evolution
of life is only possible if there is liquid water present. A water molecule has some
remarkable properties that make it quite unique in the universe. In the first chapter
of this book we will review these basic properties of water and the role of water on
Earth. All ancient civilizations realized the importance of water and their cities were
constructed near great reservoirs of water.