MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARK GARLICK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Milky Way galaxy. Computer illustration of our galaxy, the Milky Way, as seen from above one of its spiral arms. The Milky Way contains some 100 billion stars, and consists of a central nucleus (centre), a disc containing the spiral arms and a huge spherical halo (not seen). It is thought that the Milky Way is some 120, 000 light years wide. The central nucleus and halo are populated with older stars, while the disc is mainly made up of younger stars and starbirth regions. The similar but larger Andromeda galaxy is seen at upper left. It lies some 2. Milky Way, and like the Milky Way it has two small companion galaxies.
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