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The Milky Way Galaxy

Interesting facts about our home galaxy: The Milky Way

The Milky Way GalaxyThe Milky Way Galaxy is home to billions of stars, planets, and other objects, including our own solar system. Ironically, we cannot see all of the Milky Way Galaxy from earth even though we reside in it! We can see a large portion of it however with a good telescope.

The Milky Way is just one of the billions of galaxies in the universe. It's closest neighbor galaxy is the Andromeda Galaxy.

Interesting facts about the Milky Way Galaxy:

  • Classification (type of galaxy):  Spiral
  • Number of stars:  400 billion + 
  • Diameter:  100,000 light years 
  • Thickness:  1,000 light years 
  • Black holes:  At least one (the center of the galaxy) 
  • Number of major spiral arms:  4 
  • Mass: estimated to be about 1 trillion times the 
    mass of our sun
  • Location of our solar system in the Milky Way: 
    about 26,000 light years from the center
  • Years it takes for our sun to orbit the Milky Way: 
    226 million

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