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Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Milky Way

The Milky Way is the galaxy that contains our Solar System.


The name 'Milky Way' is derived from its Latin name: Via Lactea. Translated, that means "the road of milk." The Romans actually got the name from the Greeks, who called our galaxy "galaxias kyklos" or "milky circle."

The Greek "Galaxias kyklos" came from goddess Hera's breast milk. When Hercules was born, Zeus wanted him to have godlike qualities so he let him suck his wife Hera's milk when she was sleeping. When she woke, she pushed him off, and spilled milk all over the sky.

In Sanskrit, the Milky Way is called Akash Ganga, or “Ganges of the heavens.”

HISTORY 

Galileo was the first to prove in 1610 that the Milky Way was composed of many stars when he used an early telescope to discover a huge number of faint stars

Edwin Hubble was first to confirm in the early 1920s that the Milky Way was just one of many galaxies.

SIZE AND STRUCTURE 

The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy, shaped like a spiral with a bar across its center. It rotates about 560,000 MPH and completes a full revolution about every 200 million years.

Artist's conception of the spiral structure of the Milky Way with two major stellar arms and a bar

A galactic year — the length of time it takes our Solar System to travel once around the center of Milky Way — lasts 225 million years.

The Earth has an equatorial diameter of 7,926 miles, while the Milky Way's is about 621,000,000,000,000,000 miles.

If the Sun were the size of a white blood cell, then the Milky Way Galaxy would be the size of the United States.

It would take light 100,000 years to travel from one end of the Milky Way galaxy to the other.

Earth is located in one of the spiral arms of the Milky Way (called the Orion Arm) which is about two-thirds of the way out from the center.

Visiting every star in the Milky Way would take at least 420 billion years.

Estimates of the number of stars in the Milky Way vary between 100 billion and 400 billion.

The Milky Way gives birth to a new star every 50 days.

The entire Milky Way is estimated to be 210 billion times the mass of the Sun.

Diagram of the Sun’s location in the Milky Way. The angles represent longitudes in the galactic coordinate system

There are two geysers at the heart of the Milky Way that contain the energy equivalent of a million exploding stars. These geysers contain a hundred million times the Sun’s entire lifetime supply of energy.

The Milky Way's nearest neighbor is the Andromeda Galaxy which is about 2.5 million light years (that's 15 million trillion miles) away.

Source Daily Express

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