Menu

Milky Way

The Milky Way Galaxy is a giant spiral galaxy, some 100,000 light-years in diameter. Now a light-year is the distance that it would take light a year to travel. A light-year is a huge unit of measurement and the thing about a hundred thousands of those, the Milky Way Galaxy is absolutely huge.

Recent evidence suggests that the Milky Way has a central bar and that’s important, because if it had a central bar, then it would no longer be classified as a spiral galaxy, it would have to be reclassified as bar spiral galaxy or intermediate type galaxy.

Mini-test: MILKY WAY 

Question 1: About how many stars can be found in the Milky Way?
A.
B.
C.
D.
Question 2: When viewed from Earth, on which constellation does the center of the Milk Way sit?
A.
B.
C.
D.

 

Next Lesson: The Inner Planets of Our Solar System

The transcript is for your convenience.
To give you another indication of how big the Milky Way galaxy is, it contains around 200 billion stars. The Milky Way Galaxy is one of about 200 billion galaxies. You kind of get an indication of how big space really is and if the Milky Way can contain 200 billion stars, then there are about 200 billion galaxies. Now, of course, they’re not going to be the same size as the Milky Way, but still it’s kind of mind-boggling to think about 200 billion galaxies.

Now, Milky Way is where we live basically, its home to our sun and its solar system, so the earth is within the Milky Way. Our solar system is located about 26,000 light-years, which is a little over half way out from the galactic center of the inner edge of the Orion-Cygnus Arm. Now like the galaxy size, the exact distance is not precisely known because the clouds are gas and dusts, and it obscures our view from the earth because remember up here we didn’t say that the Milky Way Galaxy is 100,000 light- years in diameter.

We used the word some, because we don’t know exactly how big it is and we don’t know exactly where our solar system is positioned within the Milky Way, because we don’t have a clear view. It’s a not like a clear day in the galaxy. It’s kind of a foggy day basically when you look outside of earth, because of clouds of gas and dust. You’re going to begin to find the Milky Way Galaxy is a giant spiral galaxy, some 100,000 thousand light-years in diameter.

We use the word some, because we don’t know exactly how big it is and we don’t know exactly where solar system is positioned within the Milky Way, because we don’t have a clear view. It’s a not like a clear day in the galaxy. It’s kind of a foggy day basically when you look outside of earth, because of clouds of gas and dust. You’re going to begin to find the Milky Way Galaxy is a giant spiral galaxy, so 100,000 thousand light-years in diameter.

Next Lesson: The Inner Planets of Our Solar System