Milky Way

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Milky Way : the galaxy of which the sun and the solar system are a part and which contains the myriads of stars that create the light of the Milky Way — Merriam-Webster   See also   OneLook


Milky Way is the galaxy that contains our Solar System. The descriptor “milky” is derived from the galaxy’s appearance from Earth: a band of light seen in the night sky formed from stars that cannot be individually distinguished by the naked eye. From Earth, the Milky Way appears as a band because its disk-shaped structure is viewed from within.

The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy with a diameter between 150,000 and 200,000 light-years (ly). It is estimated to contain 100–400 billion stars. There are probably at least 100 billion planets in the Milky Way. The Solar System is located within the disk, 26,490 (± 100) light-years from the Galactic Center, on the inner edge of the Orion Arm, one of the spiral-shaped concentrations of gas and dust.

The stars in the innermost 10,000 light-years form a bulge and one or more bars that radiate from the bulge. The galactic center is an intense radio source known as Sagittarius A*, likely a supermassive black hole of 4.100 (± 0.034) million solar masses.

The Milky Way has several satellite galaxies and is part of the Local Group of galaxies, which form part of the Virgo Supercluster, which is itself a component of the Laniakea Supercluster. — Wikipedia

Milky Way Galaxy (Encyclopædia Britannica)
Milky Way (COSMOS: The SAO Encyclopedia of Astronomy)



Articles about the Milky Way Galaxy (Big Think)
Talks about the Milky Way Galaxy (TED: Ideas Worth Spreading)




The Milky Way Galaxy (JPL, NASA)

Milky Way (Wolfram Alpha)




Discovery of the Milky Way (G. H. Rieke, University of Arizona)


DDC: 523.113 The Milky Way (Library Thing)
Subject: Milky Way (Library Thing)

Subject: Milky Way (Open Library)

LCC: QB 857.7 Milky Way (Library of Congress)
Subject: Milky Way (Library of Congress)

Subject: Milky Way (WorldCat)




The Milky Way Galaxy (Ology, American Museum of Natural History)
Milky Way (Cosmos4Kids)

Milky Way (Astronomy Center, ComPADRE)

MERLOT: Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching
OER Commons: Open Educational Resources



Milky Way Galaxy (JSTOR)
Milky Way Galaxy (NPR Archives)
Milky Way (Astronomy Magazine)



Milky Way (



Here are links to pages about closely related subjects.

Knowledge Realm


Law (Constant) Relativity
Force Gravity, Electromagnetism (Light, Color)
Matter (Microscope) Molecule, Atom (Periodic Table), Particle

Universe (Astronomical Instrument)
Galaxy Milky Way, Andromeda
Planetary System Star, Brown Dwarf, Planet, Moon

Our Neighborhood
Solar System Sun
Terrestrial Planet Mercury, Venus, Earth (Moon), Mars
Asteroid Belt Ceres, Vesta
Jovian Planet Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Trans-Neptunian Object
Kuiper Belt Pluto, Haumea, Makemake
Scattered Disc Eris, Sedna, Planet X
Oort Cloud Etc. Scholz’s Star
Small Body Comet, Centaur, Asteroid


1.   The resources on this page are are organized by a classification scheme developed exclusively for Cosma.