The Milky Way

The Milky Way

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Credit: JOHN SANFORD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Milky Way. Optical image of the Milky Way running through the constellation Sagittarius. The Milky Way is our own galaxy; we see it as a band of light crossing the sky. The galactic centre lies in the direction of Sagittarius, so the star clouds are very bright in this region. There are numerous nebulae (pink) visible here. The brightest, just right of centre, is the Lagoon Nebula (M8). These emission nebulae glow red due to ionisation of their hydrogen gas by radiation from hot young stars embedded within them. The bright star at lower right is Shaula (Lambda Scorpii) in the neighbouring constellation Scorpius.

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Keywords: astronomy, cosmology, galactic centre, galaxy, lagoon nebula, lambda scorpii, m8, milky way, nebula, sagittarius, science, shaula, star

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