CHRIS BJORNBERG / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRIS BJORNBERG / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Milky Way and the Earth. Artwork of a spiral galaxy representing our own Milky Way, with the Earth seen in the lower foreground. Our Milky Way galaxy has a flat spiral structure containing an estimated 100 billion stars in total. The spiral disc at centre is about 99,000 light years across; the Sun and our Solar System with Earth lies within the Orion spiral arm at a distance of 33,000 light years from the centre. In the background is a starfield.
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