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Milky Way

Milky Way

The diameter of our galaxy is about 100,000 light years; it contains more than 100 billion stars, one of which is our Sun.

Geography

Keywords

Milky Way, spiral galaxy, galaxy, spiral arm, halo, Solar System, Sun, black hole, Orion, light year, star, astronomy, astrophysics, geography, physics

Related items

Scenes

Milky Way

Dimensions

Spiral arms

  • Orion Arm - Our Solar System is located in this arm.
  • Sagittarius Arm
  • Perseus arm
  • centre of the Galaxy - There is a supermassive black hole in the centre of the Milky Way. Its mass is 4.5 million times the mass of the Sun. Black holes took their name from the fact that their gravity prevents anything, including light, from escaping.
  • Scutum-Centaurus Arm
  • Norma Arm
  • disc

Halo

  • galactic halo - It surrounds the Milky Way and consists of ancient stars, dust and gas. The oldest known star in the Galaxy was found in this halo; it is 13.2 billion years old. No new stars are forming in the halo.

Location of the Sun

  • Sun - It is located approx. 26,000 light-years from the centre of the galaxy. The Solar System completes one orbit in 240 million years. If we were to shrink the Milky Way’s diameter to 100 metres, the Solar System would appear less than 1 mm in diameter.

Animation

  • width: 100,000 light years
  • thickness: 10,000 light years
  • distance of the Sun from the centre: 26,000 light years
  • Orion Arm - Our Solar System is located in this arm.
  • Sagittarius Arm
  • Perseus arm
  • centre of the Galaxy - There is a supermassive black hole in the centre of the Milky Way. Its mass is 4.5 million times the mass of the Sun. Black holes took their name from the fact that their gravity prevents anything, including light, from escaping.
  • Scutum-Centaurus Arm
  • Norma Arm
  • disc
  • Sun - It is located approx. 26,000 light-years from the centre of the galaxy. The Solar System completes one orbit in 240 million years. If we were to shrink the Milky Way’s diameter to 100 metres, the Solar System would appear less than 1 mm in diameter.

Images

  • Spiral galaxy
  • Elliptical galaxy
  • Lenticular galaxy
  • Dwarf galaxy
  • Irregular galaxy

Narration

The Milky Way is a spiral galaxy that contains our Solar System. With the exception of the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds and the Andromeda Galaxy, every planet and star that is visible to the naked eye is a part of the Milky Way.

The Milky Way is 100,000 light-years in diameter; its maximum thickness is 10,000 light-years. Our Sun is located 26,000 light-years from its centre.

The Solar System completes one orbit in 240 million years. If we were to shrink the Milky Way’s diameter to 100 metres, the Solar System would appear less than 1 mm in diameter.

The Sun is located on the Orion Arm, a spiral arm of the Milky Way.

The centre of the Galaxy is a supermassive black hole. Its mass is 4.5 million times larger than the mass of the Sun. Black holes took their name from the fact that their gravity prevents anything, including light, from escaping.

The Milky Way is surrounded by the galactic halo consisting of ancient stars, dust and gas. The oldest known star in the Galaxy was found in this halo; it is 13.2 billion years old.

This means that our galaxy is at least 13.2 billion years old and formed about half a billion years after the Big Bang.

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The Kepler space telescope was launched by NASA to discover Earth-like planets orbiting other stars

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This animation introduces the studies of astronomers and physicists whose works fundamentally changed our view of the universe.

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The formation of the Sun and the planets started with the contraction of a dust cloud about 4.5 billion years ago.

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The Earth is a rocky planet with a solid crust and oxygen in its atmosphere.

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Massive accelerating or orbiting bodies cause ripples in spacetime. These are called gravitational waves.

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Jupiter is the largest planet of the Solar System, it has two and a half times the mass of all the other planets combined.

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Possible traces of water and life are sought on Mars.

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Mercury is innermost and smallest planet of the Solar System.

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Neptune is the outermost planet of the Solar System, the smallest of the giant planets

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The largest satellite of Pluto is Charon.

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Satellites orbiting the Earth can be used for civilian or military purposes.

Saturn

Saturn is the second largest planet in the Solar System, easily recognisable by its rings.

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The diameter of the Sun is about 109 times that of the Earth. Most of its mass consists of hydrogen.

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Uranus is the 7th planet from the Sun, a gas giant.

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