The Milky Way

The Sun is insignificant in the great scheme of things, being just one average star in a galaxy consisting of aboutstars, in a Universe consisting of maybegalaxies. We do actually know quite a lot about our galaxy.

The Milky Way is a spiral galaxy, rotating with a period of aboutyears. It is about meters or 100,000 light years across. At the centre, as with many galaxies there is a bulge of gas and stars surrounding a supposed black hole. We can actually look out into the night sky and see the Milky Way as a pale band of light, shown below, because the Earth is in one of the spiral arms.

A computer generated plan of the Milky Way with the position of the Sun is show below.