The Milky Way

Berenice Moyotl

The Milky Way


The Milky Way is a spiral galaxy that is estimated to be about 100,000 light-years across. It is also recognized as the “river of spilled milk”. Although for hundreds of years, the Milky Way was thought to be the only galaxy in the universe, it was later proven wrong with evidence. Its spiral arms rotate around the center of the galaxy and within a few billion years, it is thought to collide with another galaxy named Andromeda Galaxy.

Where are we located in the Milky Way?

Our solar system is located on a spiral arm named the Orion Spur. It is thought that if the Earth rotated at the speed of stars in the Milky Way, it would only take three days to orbit the sun instead of 365. ALso, the sun completes an orbit around the center of the galaxy every 240 million years.

Stars

The center of the galaxy is believed to be filled with millions of young and bright stars. New stars are formed in its arms or what is sometimes called the disk of the galaxy while most massive stars are in the center of the galaxy.More than half of the stars found in the Milky Way are older than the sun which is 4.5 billion years old.

How was the galaxy made?

In the 1600s, Galileo had discovered that the Milky Way was made up of billions of individual stars. Astronomers had also found evidence to show that within 500 million years after the Big Bang Theory had happened, the formation of stars and galaxies had begun.
10 Incredible Facts about the Galaxy

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