What is the Milky Way?

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By now you should know what the name of the galaxy that the sun and the Earth are in. If you don't know, the galaxy is called the Milky Way.

The Milky Way is a disc shaped spiral with a huge collection of star, about 100-400 billion. We don't know the exact number but we do know it's more than 200 billion. That may seem a lot but compared to other galaxies and star clusters the Milky Way is very small.

The solar system is located on one of the arms of the spirals. The Milky Way is 100,000 light years away.

Scientists believe that when the Milky Way was formed (all those billions of years ago) at the exact same time a massive Black Hole was formed when a huge gas cloud collapsed in on itself.

From anywhere on Earth we can only see up to 10,000 stars, however that is not a lot compared to the amount hurdling around ou galaxy. While you can only see a small amount of stars, we know that there are billions more in the Milky Way.

FUN FACTS

1. The sun travels around the Milky Way at about 500,000 miles per hour.

2. The sun takes about 220 million years to travel around the Milky Way just once.

3. As we live within the Milky Way, we don't actually know what our galaxy looks like. We know that it's a spiral galaxy. Any pictures you see of our galaxy are taken from other spiral galaxies in the universe.

For more information about the Milky Way go to: www.kidsplayandcreate.com/MilkyWay

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