DAVID A. HARDY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID A. HARDY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Artist's impression of our galaxy, the Milky Way, seen edge-on & with the position of our solar system marked by the red circle. The Milky Way is a spiral galaxy containing about 100,000 million stars, & is about 100,000 light years across. Older, reddish stars (Population II stars) give the central bulge of the galaxy its warm glow, while younger, blue stars (Population I), like our own Sun, populate the spiral arms. The orange spots in the image represent globular clusters, massive aggregations of thousands of stars. Our solar system is about 25,000 light years from the galactic centre, & is situated in a relatively sparse section of the galaxy.
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