Milky Way galaxy

Our solar system is a tiny part of the Milky Way galaxy. The Milky Way is a huge system of hundreds of billions of stars, nebulae, and hundreds of thousands of star clusters. "Milk River, flowing through the universe". It describes the Milky Way until 1610, when Galileo saw in his telescope. He discovered that the Milky Way has nothing to do with milk. It consists of an enormous number of faint stars, which are combined into one huge cloud of vague. Milky Way - this is one of the major elements of the Local Group of Galaxies, which consists mainly of the following galaxies: the Milky Way, Andromeda, Triangle, Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, M32, NGC205.

Our solar system is a tiny part of the Milky Way galaxy

The diameter of the Milky Way galaxy is about 100,000 light-years at an estimated average thickness of about 1000 light-years. The galaxy contains, at the lowest estimate, about 200 billion stars (the current estimate is in the range of 200 to 400 billion). Most of the mass of the Galaxy is contained not in the stars and interstellar gas, and in the non-luminous halo of dark matter.

Near the plane of the disk of the galaxy the Milky Way concentrated young stars and star clusters, whose age does not exceed a few billion years. They form the so-called flat component. Among them is a lot of bright and hot stars. The gas in the galactic disk also concentrated mainly near his plane. It is distributed unevenly, forming numerous gas clouds - from giant clouds of inhomogeneous structure, which is over a few thousand light-years to a little cloud no larger than a parsec.

Milky Way galaxy belongs to a class of spiral galaxies. This means that it has spiral arms located in the plane of the disk. The disk is immersed in the halo of a spherical shape, and is a spherical crown around it. The solar system is located at a distance of 8500 parsecs from the galactic center, close to the galactic plane (offset to the North Pole of the Galaxy is only 10 parsecs), on the inner edge of the sleeve, which is called the Orion arm. This arrangement makes it impossible to observe visually the form of sleeves.

When scientists stare into the universe on such a large distance, they see superclusters, that is a whopping system comprising a plurality of individual clusters of galaxies. And it seems that a significant part of the universe occupied by cosmic voids. In these cavities is a small amount of detectable galaxies.

In the center of the Milky Way galaxy is a place that is called the galactic center. And in the center (that is, in the center of the center) - the galactic bulge (or bulge) is about 8000 parsecs across. This spherical education consists of millions of mainly orange and red stars. In general, the form of the Milky Way can be compared with two fried eggs, yolks folded outwards. Protein - a galactic disk, and forming a spherical structure yolks - a bulge in the center. It is a form of a flying saucer, which you can get around, if you put two saucers bulges outward. It remains to add that in the center of the Milky Way galaxy is a supermassive black hole - Sagittarius A.