The Galaxy in Which We Live
The Earth orbits the Sun together with 8 other planets and numerous satellites, asteroids, and comets, forming what we know as the Solar System. Our Solar System together with billions of other stars, planets, gas, dust, radiation, and invisible material (dark matter), are gravitationally bound forming a much larger structure: our Milky Way Galaxy. There are huge numbers of galaxies apart from our own, constituting the basic structural units of the Universe.
On a clear dark night and with only the naked eye, we can see a faint white band of light across the sky, which is just a projection of the disk of our Milky Way Galaxy as seen from the Earth. Because of our position in the Galaxy, it is extremely hard to obtain a direct global picture of it, and observing other galaxies has given us enormous clues about large-scale features of our Galaxy that remain hidden to us. Nevertheless, complicated observing techniques and calculations have allowed us to construct rather reliable maps of our Milky Way.
Click on the thumbnail below to explore the Milky Way galaxy:
|Explore The Milky Way|