The Milky Way

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Guess what?

Only three galaxies outside of the Milky Way can be seen by the unaided eye here on Earth. People in the Northern Hemisphere can see the Andromeda Nebula while people in the Southern Hemisphere can see the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds.

Our Sun is a star in the Milky Way Galaxy. If you were looking down on the Milky Way, it would look like a large pinwheel rotating in space. Our Galaxy is a spiral galaxy that formed approximately 14 billion years ago. Contained in the Milky Way are stars, clouds of dust and gas called nebulae, planets, and asteroids. Stars, dust, and gas fan out from the center of the Galaxy in long spiraling arms. The Milky Way is approximately 100,000 light-years in diameter. Our solar system is 26,000 light-years from the center of the Galaxy. All objects in the Galaxy revolve around the Galaxy's center. It takes 250 million years for our Sun to pull us through one revolution around the center of the Milky Way. The stars we see over our head every night are also members of the Milky Way family.

It is interesting to note that astronomers capitalize the "G" in galaxy when talking about our Milky Way!

The Milky Way
The Milky Way
(Words)

A Question

The Milky Way is classified as what type of galaxy?

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Did you know?
Did you know?

The Answer
The Answer

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