Let's check out some information regarding our galaxy Milky Way

Updated: May 15

Representational Image
Representational Image

Earth seems huge to us after all, it can take you a long time just to travel to school. All of you must know that Earth is only a very tiny part of space. Then where exactly does Earth belong in the universe? Earth stays in a solar system of the Milky Way Galaxy. This solar system has one Sun. Earth is a planet surrounded by planets like Earth, and Mars. Details regarding the solar system will learn in upcoming articles.

The Earth and its moon in Milky Way

Earth supports trillions of living things. Our home in space is Earth has one natural satellite, our moon. The moon is about one-quarter the size of Earth and on average, it orbits about 3,84,000 km (2,40, 000 miles) from us.

Astronauts were the luckiest people because when they have see Earth from space, they were always struck by its beauty. Earth looks like a Christmas tree decorations and a swirly blue marble suspended in space.

The solar system in Milky Way

Earth is the planet from the Sun at just the right distance from it to support life. There are eight planets that orbit around the Sun and these planets have their moons. Our solar system consists of comets, asteroids, meteors, dwarf planets, dust, and gas. There is one more planet that existed in 2006 and till that time a ninth planet Pluto existed. International Astronomical Union (IAU) reclassified Pluto in 2006 as a dwarf planet because some experts say that Pluto does not meet some criteria to become a planet. Some experts continuously claim that Pluto needs to be reclassified and give back its Planet Status. All these things exist on the tiny edge of our Milky Way galaxy.

The Milky Way

Our solar system including planet Earth, and Sun is located in a galaxy called the Milky Way at the edge of a spiral arm known as Orion's arm. This Milky Way galaxy is a collection of billions of stars. Milky Way Galaxy has long curved arms that spiral out from a central bulge from Milky Way Galaxy. In other words, we can say our solar system is a tiny tiny part of a gigantic spiral galaxy, the Milky Way. Do you know that Milky Way is made up of billions of stars, they look like they have been sprinkled thickly onto the night sky and scientists believe that there are more than 100,000 million stars lying in our Milky Way Galaxy.

The Milky Way Galaxy looks like a spiral galaxy and it is flat with a bulge at the center of the galaxy and its arms that circle outwards. Astronomers think the Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy and it will take 100,000 years to travel from one edge of the Milky Way to the other edge of the Milky Way. There are oldest stars lie in our Milky Way Galaxy and these oldest stars lie towards its center often in giant balls. These are called globular clusters.

Why is it Milky?

The situation before the invention of telescopes is entirely different than today. Astronomers and people could not see the stars very clearly in the sky. These stars were blurred together in a hazy white streak. The ancient Greeks referred to as this streak a river of milk. That's how our galaxy became, the Milky Way.

Milky Myths

Many myths have developed about the formation of the Milky Way galaxy. Let's take look at some of the myths

  • Native Americans existed in the form of stories telling of a dog dropping corn as he fled across the sky.

  • Another mythology based on Hindu religion myths sees the Milky Way as milkiness that sprinkled belly of a dolphin.

  • Kalahari bushmen also known as Khwe, Basarwa, or San, peoples of South Africa say that Milky Way was created by hot embers thrown up from a fire.

  • The ancient Egyptians believed the stars were a pool of cow's milk, the Milky Way Galaxy we have seen from Earth.

The Local Group

The Milky Way is one of the longest galaxies in a cluster known as the Local Group and millions of galaxy clusters combination make up the Universe.

Great Galaxies

A galaxy is a family or we can say a group of stars, gas, and dust held together by gravity and most of the galaxy is empty space with distances between each star that are difficult to imagine how far it is. Many galaxies are found in galaxy clusters with thousands of members and it's hard to imagine how many members these clusters have. Our galaxy which contains planet Earth is known as the Milky Way which belongs to a cluster of 30 galaxies called the local group.

Two galaxies may sometimes collide with each other and these processes will take millions of years but don't forget that the stars within the galaxy won't collide with each other and the gas and dust with these collisions can create new stars in theirs. Galaxies are spread over widely in space and it's difficult to imagine the distances of these galaxies. Even a space probe would take two billion years to cross our Milky Way galaxy to reach outside Milky Way. A typical galaxy contains over 100,000 million stars and it's difficult to imagine how vast these stars are spread over a galaxy.

A guide to galaxies

Do you know that galaxies exist in enormous size, shape, and mass? Galaxies don't have a basic pattern depending on their shape. No human knows what gives them a particular shape for galaxies.

Spiral Galaxies

Spiral Galaxies are disc-shaped galaxies and it's spin slowly. They looked like a few whirlpools and sometimes, they have two arms that curl out from a central bulge.

Barred spiral galaxies

Barred spiral galaxies have arms, these arms that wind out from the ends of a central bar of stars rather than from the core of the galaxy.

Elliptical galaxies

Elliptical galaxies are ball or egg-shaped types of galaxies. These types of galaxies are largely contained in old stars and they don't contain the gas clouds for the formation of new stars.

Irregular galaxies

These have no shape. These types of galaxies contain lots of gas, dust, and many others. Therefore dense region of particles that exist in the molecular clouds is known as active stellar nurseries and helps the formation of new stars.

Do you know?

There are some galaxies named by letters and numbers because there are so many galaxies. So experts names these galaxies in codes. These codes act like barcode numbers and it helps easily to identify each galaxy.

The Universe

The universe contains our planet Earth and its moon, the Sun and the Solar System, the Milky Way, the galaxies we know have discovered and the galaxies we haven't yet till now discovered. The Universe is still expanding, so all the galaxies are moving farther and farther apart

Make your Universe by drawing dots and spirals around a flat balloon to appear galaxies As you blow air in these galaxies move apart, that's what's happening to the Universe.

Experts believe that the universe is young and it is just under 14 billion years old and there might be other parallel Universes that exist. Our universe exists in a similar way to any of the universes. Experts call these parallel universes multiverse. This multiverse contains several universes. Some experts believe in the infinite universe also. A multiverse is a hypothetical concept.

Dark Mysteries

We can't see everything in space but some experts think there's lots of mysterious dark matter between the stars. All these things you will learn in our upcoming articles.

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