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Some galaxies have no structure, while others have some trace of structure but do not fit the spiral or elliptical classes. All of these galaxies are called irregular galaxies. The two small galaxies that are satellites to the Milky Way Galaxy are both irregular. They are known as the Magellanic Clouds. The Large Magellanic Cloud shows signs of having a bar in its center. The Small Magellanic Cloud is more formless. Studies of stars in the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds have been fundamental for astronomers’ understanding of the universe. Each of these galaxies provides groups of stars that are all at the same distance from Earth, allowing astronomers to compare the absolute brightness of these stars.

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