Artwork showing our galaxy the Milky Way

Artwork showing our galaxy the Milky Way

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Credit: J. BAUM & N. HENBEST/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: The Milky Way. Map of our galaxy, with the Sun's position arrowed. The Milky Way is a spiral galaxy with a short bar (yellow-white) at centre and a diameter of about 100,000 light years. It contains about 15 billion stars. Molecular clouds (orange) and bright nebulae (purple) populate the galaxy's spiral arms. Molecular clouds consist of molecules and dust, and are associated with regions of star formation. Nebulae are formed by hydrogen lit up and ionised by nearby young, hot stars. Clouds of neutral hydrogen are in yellow. Based on the locations of 1500 stars, nebulae and other objects, the Henbest/Baum map was the most accurate map of the galaxy when published in 1994.

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Keywords: astronomy, cosmology, galactic, galaxy, milky way, science, spiral, spiral galaxy, whole

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