J. BAUM & N. HENBEST / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY J. BAUM & N. HENBEST / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
The Milky Way. Artwork depicting our galaxy, the Milky Way, seen in profile. The Milky Way is a spiral galaxy shaped like a thin disc with a central bulge. Its diameter is about 100,000 light years. The disc is about 2000 light years thick, rising to 6000 light years at the central bulge. It contains about 15 billion stars. Also visible in this view are some of the globular star clusters (tight groupings of up to a few million stars) scattered outside its central bulge.
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