Caption: Central Milky Way. Optical image of the central part of our galaxy, the Milky Way, in the constellation Sagittarius. The bright areas are star clouds containing millions of stars. These are intersected by dark dust lanes that block out the light from stars behind. The dust clouds and stars obscure the centre of the galaxy itself, which is located around the upper centre of the picture. The Milky Way appears as a band of light crossing the sky, as we are looking at a disc from within. It is a spiral galaxy containing at least 100 billion stars. North is at top.
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