What is the Milky Way galaxy?

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The Milky Way galaxy is the galaxy we live in.  It is the galaxy that includes the star that we refer to as the sun.

The galaxy is made up of a core of stars with arms comprised of more stars reaching out from the center in sort of a spiral shape.  Of course, there are vast distances between all of these stars.  In fact, the Milky Way's diameter is about 100,000 light years. In addition is it roughly 1,000 light years deep.

The earth and the solar system in general are in one of the arms that protrude from the core.

krishna-agrawala's profile pic

krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Galaxy is a collection of many stars dust and gas held together by gravity. There are billions of galaxies scattered throughout the universe. They range in size from diameter of a few thousands of half a million light years.

The galaxy of which our earth is a part is called Milky-Way. Our sun is just one of the hundreds of billions of stars contained in it. A portion of the Milky-Way Galaxy can be seen in the sky with the naked eye. In common language this visible part on Milky-Way is also called the Milky-Way.

The Milky-Way shaped like a thin disk with a bulge in the center. Its diameter is about 100,000 light years, and is about 10,000 light-years thick at the center. Stars, dust and gases fan out from the central bulge like long curving arms that form a spiral. Because of this kind of of shape, Milky-Way is classifies as a  spiral galaxy. Our solar system is located towards the outer periphery of this galaxy

devyanigarg's profile pic

devyanigarg | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

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A hazy band of light which you sometimes see on clear nights is caused by some of the more distinct stars among the vast collection of stars in which we live.Such a collection of stars is called a galaxy.The particular collection in which we live is called the Milky Way galaxy.The stars in our galaxy form a shape that,seen edge on,looks like a pancake with a bulge in the middle.But seen from above,it looks like a windmill.It contains about 100,000 million stars.All the stars we see in our sky belong to the Milky Way galaxy.The bright stars that seem  scattered in all directions are the nearest stars in our galaxy.The distance between any two stars is about 1,000,000 million kilometers or more.There are so many,they look like a glowing cloud.The sun and the other stars move around the centre of the galaxy.The galaxy is so big,and the sun is so far from the centre,it takes the sun over 220 million years to go all the way round.    

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