Milky Way

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The Milky Way (a translation of the Latin Via Lactea) is a hazy band of light across the night sky formed by billions of stars in the disc our galaxy. The Milky Way appears brightest in the direction of Sagittarius, where the galactic centre lies.

Our galaxy itself is also called the Milky Way. It is a large spiral galaxy that contains about a trillion times the mass of the sun, including approximately 200 billion stars. The galactic disk has a diameter of about 100,000 light-years. The distance between our spiral arm and the next spiral arm out, the Perseus arm, is 2000 light-years.[1]. The distance from the Sun to the galactic center is 27,700 light-years.