Interesting Facts About Milky Way Galaxy – Our Sweet Home !

Interesting facts about Milky Way Galaxy

The Milky Way Galaxy is most significant to humans because it is our sweet home. There is a lot of Interesting Facts About Milky Way Galaxy But when it comes down to it, our milky way galaxy is a typical barred spiral, much like billions of other galaxies in the universe.

#1. Interesting Facts About Milky Way Galaxy: Introduction

Let’s take a little journey into the Milky Way to understand few Most Interesting Facts About Milky Way Galaxy.

Our Home Galaxy – Milky Way is a galaxy which contains our Solar System. It contains a dim glowing band arching across the night sky, so it’s name is ‘milky’.

It is a barred spiral galaxy. It’s diameter is approximately 1,00,000 – 1,20,000 light years long.

Until 1920, most astronomers think that it contains all stars of our universe but in 1920, some astronomers show that it is the one of many galaxy. It is just a part of universe.

Interesting facts about Milky Way Galaxy

In the observable universe, there are approximately 200 billion galaxy. Milky way have approximately  100-400 billion stars. It have approximately 100 billion planets.

#2. Interesting Facts About Milky Way Galaxy: Location

Our solar system located within disk which is 27,000 light years away from Galactic center, on the inner edge of the spiral shaped concentrations of gas and dust called the Orion Arm.

Galactic center is a rotational center of the milky way which is evidence of Supermassive Black Hole (SMBH). Scientists say that there are a SMBH in the center of the every galaxy. In milky way, there are a SMBH which name is Sagittarius-A. The mass of the SMBH is 4.1-4.5 million times of the mass of the sun.

Orion Arm is a minor spiral arm of he milky way which is (Orion Arm) 3,500 light years across and 10,000 light years in length. Our solar system lies in the Orion Arm. Other name of the Orion Arm is Local Arm, Orion Spur, Local Spur, Orion Bridge. The full name of Orion Arm is Orion cygnus Arm. Most of the brightest stars are located in the Orion Arm.

Interesting facts about Milky Way Galaxy
SUN is approximately 30,000 light years away from the Center of The Milky Way Galaxy.

#3. Interesting Facts About Milky Way Galaxy: Brief Description

All stars and gases which are far away from Galactic center orbit at 200 km/sec. and their rotational period is 240 million years. So we can say that our sun orbit at 200 km/sec.(0.073%of the speed of light) around the milky way and it complete its orbit in 240 million years. The sun orbit around the milky way approximately 18-20 times in lifetime.

The Milky Way does not sit still, but is constantly rotating. As such, the arms are moving through space. The sun and the solar system travel with them. The solar system travels at an average speed of 515,000 mph (828,000 km/h). Even at this rapid speed, the solar system would take about 230 million years to travel all the way around the Milky Way.

The oldest star in our milky way was made when universe began. Milky way has many satellite galaxies. Milky way is a part of Local group (Local group is a group of galaxy. There are 54 galaxy in our Local group.) of galaxies which is component of Virgo Supercluster. All observable stars by naked eye at night is a part of the milky way.

Interesting facts about Milky Way Galaxy
This heavenly view of the Milky Way was taken in the South Pacific paradise of Mangaia, the most southerly of the Cook Islands. This image was chosen as one of the winners of the National Maritime Museum’s Astrophotographer of the Year 2011 Contest. Credit: Tunc Tezel

Milky way has a relatively low surface brightness. It looks very brightest from Sagittarius-A. Milky way is a second largest galaxy in local group. Mass of the Milky Way is 5.8 times of 10^11 solar masses which is less than mass of the Andromeda galaxy. Most of the mass of the Milky way appears in  the Dark matter. The space between stars is called Interstellar Medium which is a disk of gas and dust.

  1. The Milky Way contains over 200 billion stars, and enough dust and gas to make billions more.
  2. The solar system lies about 30,000 light-years from the galactic center, and about 20 light-years above the plane of the galaxy.
  3. Earth and its neighbors don’t orbit within the plane of the galaxy but are instead tipped by about 63 degrees.
  4. More than half the stars found in the Milky Way are older than the 4.5-billion-year-old sun.
  5. The most common stars in the galaxy are red dwarfs, a cool star about a tenth the mass of the sun.
  6. Recent measurements have weighed the galaxy at between 400 billion and 780 billion times the mass of the sun.
  7. Scientists believe that 90% of our galaxy’s mass consists of dark matter, which gives it a mysterious halo.
  8. Most larger galaxies have a supermassive black hole (SMBH) at the center, and the Milky Way is no exception.
  9. It’s Almost as Old as the Universe Itself.

    Interesting facts about Milky Way galaxy
    Viewed from above, we can now see that our gaze takes across the Perseus Arm (toward the constellation Cygnus), parts of the Sagittarius and Scutum-Centaurus arms (toward the constellations Scutum, Sagittarius and Ophiuchus and across the central bar. Interstellar dust obscures much of the center of the galaxy. Credit: NASA et. all with additions by the author.

Recently NASA selected the Galactic/Extragalactic ULDB Spectroscopic Terahertz Observatory (GUSTO) mission to fly a telescope carried by balloon to map out large sections in the Milky Way and nearby Large Magellenic Cloud. The mission plans to launch in 2021 from McMurdo, Antarctica and should remain in the air between 100 and 170 days, depending on weather conditions.

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