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Milky Way Galaxy

User Thread
 42yrs • F •
Milky Way Galaxy
The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy - this means that it's a spiral galaxy that has a central bar shaped structure that is made up of stars. Spiral galaxies have a spiral structure that extend spiraling arms from it's center.

It is estimated that the Milky Way Galaxy is 13.2 billion years old, based on the fact that the oldest known object in our galaxy, the star HE 1523-0901, is estimated to be that old. This means that the Milky Way began forming only a mere 1.4 billion years after the big bang occurred.

The Milky Way is 100,000–120,000 light-years in diameter.

It is estimated that the Milky Way contains 200 to 400 billion stars and it is also possible that it contains just as many planets.

Our Solar System is located about 2/3rds of the way out from the Milky Way's Galactic Center, on a minor spiral arm called the Orion–Cygnus Arm. It is likely that a supermassive black hole exists at the Galactic Center.

The Milky Way rotates - it rotates faster at the center and slower towards the outer edges. On the whole, our galaxy is rotating at a very fast velocity of 552 to 630 km per second.

The following image is a 360-degree panorama view of the Milky Way Galaxy (it is a is mosaic of multiple shots arranged together).
(Image Credit: Digital Sky LLC)

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Milky Way Galaxy
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