JERRY LODRIGUSS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JERRY LODRIGUSS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Milky Way, in winter in the Northern Hemisphere. The Milky Way is the band of stars and nebulae in the night sky that is a view of our own spiral galaxy from the inside. This view looks towards the outer regions of the galaxy. Our galaxy has over 100 billion stars. It also contains clouds of dust and gas (nebulae, red, black, blue patches). The brightest star in the night sky is Sirius (lower left). Three bright stars (lower centre) trace the belt of Orion. The blue star below the belt is Rigel, while the red star above it is Betelgeuse. The semi-circular nebulosity in Orion is Barnard's Loop. The Hyades (red V-shape) and Pleiades (blue) star clusters are at lower right.
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