The galaxy of the Milky Way it is the one that contains the Solar System and, therefore, the Earth. It is part of the Local Group.
A path in the sky
On serene nights we can see a white strip that crosses the sky from side to side, with many stars.
They are only a small part of our neighbors. Together we form the Milky Way, our galaxy. The Romans called it "Camino de Leche", which is what it means Milky Way In latin.
The Milky Way is our galaxy
The Solar System is in one of the spiral arms, about 25,800 light years from the center and about 22,000 from the end.
The Milky Way is a large, spiral galaxy and can have about 300,000 million stars, including the Sun. In total it measures about 100,000 light years in diameter and has a mass more than two billion times that of the Sun.
Every 225 million years the Solar system Complete a spin around the center of the galaxy. It moves about 270 km. per second.
We cannot see the bright center because opaque materials, cosmic dust and cold gases are interposed, which do not let light through. It is believed to contain a powerful black hole.
The Milky Way is shaped like a convex lens. The nucleus has an elliptical central area and about 8,000 light years in diameter. The stars of the nucleus are more clustered than those of the arms. Around it there is a cloud of hydrogen, some stars and star clusters.
The Milky Way is part of the Local Group
Together with the Andromeda (M31) and Triangle (M33) galaxies, the Magellanic Clouds (Milky Way satellites), the M32 and M110 galaxies (Andromeda satellites), smaller galaxies and nebulas and other minor systems, form a group linked by gravity.
In total, in the Local Group There are about 40 galaxies that occupy an area of about 4 million light years in diameter.
The entire group orbits around the large cluster of Virgo galaxies, about 50 million light years.
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