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How big is the Milky Way Galaxy? Between the stars are giant pillars of gas and dust, Getting to Know Our Galactic Home: The Milky Way, 6 Citizen Science Projects to Explore Outer Space at Home, First Evidence of a Planet in Another Galaxy, Watch Out: Objects in the Universe are Bigger than They Appear, How Many Galaxies Are There? We live inside the Milky Way galaxy, and that’s a problem. Based on observing globular clusters (star clusters) in the galaxy, astronomers have estimated the Milky Way’s overall age at 13.5 billion years old — just 200 million years younger than the rest of the universe. Because we're inside it, for example, a lot of it is blocked from view by opaque clouds of dust. Answer: Assuming a diameter for the Milky Way galaxy of about 15 kpc, which is about 4.6×10^(17) km, and a diameter for the Earth of about 12756 km, the ratio of the diameter of the Milky Way galaxy to that of the Earth is about 3.6×10^(13). And More…, Episode 698: Open Space 95: Would SpaceX Have Survived without NASA? 00:53:21 Is a hot big bang feasible? If the Milky Way is just the entire collection of stars, how does it change throughout the year? NAOJ At the center of the our galaxy there's a … Mark Serrels. If you could look down on it from the top, you would see a central bulge … Paperback with spiral binding, 20 pages. 00:27:31 Can we observe Oort clouds in other Solar Systems? And More…, Episode 697: Interview: Theoretical Physicist Dr. Peter Woit, Episode 696: Open Space 94: Is It Realistic to Declare a "Free Mars"? Shapley believed that our Milky Way galaxy was 300,000 light years across. The hatched region represents the plane of the Milky Way (that is, roughly the part of the sky where the Milky Way is visible to the eye), and the X located at (0,0) marks the location of the Sun in the plane of the Milky Way. [30][31] The dark matter halo around the Milky Way may span as much as 2 million light years. If you’re looking for the center of the galaxy, gaze at the constellation Sagittarius, which is low on the summer sky horizon for most northern hemisphere residents. The Milky Way is shaped a bit like a Frisbee, with a bulge in the middle. Milky Way Galaxy, large spiral system consisting of several hundred billion stars, one of which is the Sun. Because we’re inside it, for example, a lot of it is blocked from view by opaque clouds of dust. See no ads on this site, see our videos early, special bonus material, and much more. Written to help children understand the number of stars in the Milky Way--one billion--and help children grasp the immensity of our galaxy. Light at the galaxy’s center takes 25,000 light-years to travel from Earth. Imagine the Milky Way galaxy as a music CD (the thickness compared to its diameter is about right). Milky Way Galaxy. 00:37:31 Is Andromeda more massive? And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour Post was not sent - check your email addresses! 2. Not only does it measure some 100,000–120,000 light-years in diameter and about 1,000 light … This is its rotational centre that is surrounded by dust, gas, and stars. From observations, astronomers know that the Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy that is about 100,000 light-years across. (Credit: NASA). ITunes: Our best estimates tell us that the Milky Way is made up of approximately 100 billion stars. The Milky Way is the second-largest member, with M33 (the Triangulum Galaxy) the third-largest, NASA says., Audio Podcast version: Join us at This is because the Milky Way has a core called the Galactic Centre.

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