Milky Way from Earthback back

How big is the Milky Way Galaxy?

The Milky Way Galaxy is our home in the existing Univers, it is a barred spiral galaxy 100,000‐120,000 light-years in diameter containing 200‐400 billion stars and at least as many planets including our solar system. The galactic center is named Sagittarius A and its belived to hold a supermassive black hole with an estimated mass of 4.1‐4.5 million times the mass of our Sun.

The name comes from its appearance as a dim glowing milky band arching across the night sky. The term Milky Way is a translation from Latin via lactea and Greek milky circle as seen from inside.


Milky Way facts

  • How old is the Milky Way Galaxy?

    Milky Way Galaxy is approximately 13.7 billion years old, almost as the Universe itself. The age is determined by taking the age of the stars in the Milky Way.

  • Stars in the Milky Way Galaxy

    The Milky Way contains at least 100 billion stars and may have up to 400 billion stars. The exact number is not known.

  • Milky Way Galaxy from Earth

    Earth, along with the Solar System, is situated in the Milky Way galaxy, orbiting about 28,000 light years from the center of the galaxy.

How to see the Milky Way Galaxy from Earthback back

Can you see the Milky Way Galaxy from Earth at night with the naked eye?

Yes, in fact, the Milky Way Galaxy is one of the most interesting naked eye sights in the night sky. However, it’s not bright, and it’s not always well placed to be seen. So to see the Milky Way Galaxy from Earth in the grand design you will have to meet the following minimum requirements:
‐ Dark skies, no moonlight (you can get an app that will show you the lunar calendar);
‐ no city lights, no headlights, basically as far as you can from any source of light pollution. The best viewing site would be from the middle of the ocean either northern hemisphere or southern hemisphere being so far away from the artificial city lights.
‐ No telescopes, no binoculars, (just eyeglasses if you’re near sighted) and at least one eyeball.
‐ Best atmospheric conditions, a misty sky wouldn’t block it completely, nor would humidity. It would make it not as sharp, but still visible.
‐ Give your eyes at least 15-20 minutes to adapt to the darkness though. Your eyes will become more sensitive to low light level.
‐ A little bit of timing in late summer or winter evenings.

We live in the Milky Way Galaxy, this means that every time we gaze at the night sky we are looking at the Milky Way Galaxy. More exactly the spiral arm closer to the galactic center one part of the year and in the other part we see the near edge of the spiral arm farther from the galactic center. Due to nebula and dust clouds, we can’t see the center of the Milky Way (in visible light) at any time.


Where can i see the Milky Way Galaxy from Earth?

  • Milky Way Northern Hemisphere

    Summer
    Date Time
    Oct 14 8 PM
    Sep 29 9 PM
    Sep 14 10 PM
    Aug 30 11 PM
    Aug 15 12 AM
    Jul 31 1 AM
    Jul 16 2 AM
    Winter
    Date Time
    Feb 10 8 PM
    Jan 25 9 PM
    Jan 10 10 PM
    Dec 26 11 PM
    Dec 12 12 AM
    Nov 26 1 AM
    Nov 11 2 AM
  • Milky Way Southern Hemisphere

    Winter
    Date Time
    Apr 8 8 PM
    Mar 24 9 PM
    Mar 9 10 PM
    Feb 21 11 PM
    Feb 5 12 AM
    Jan 22 1 AM
    Jan 7 2 AM
    Summer
    Date Time
    Aug 28 8 PM
    Aug 12 9 PM
    Jul 28 10 PM
    Jul 12 11 PM
    Jun 27 12 AM
    Jun 13 1 AM
    May 29 2 AM
  • The summer Milky Way will look brighter. Most noticeably you should be able to see the Great Rift in good dark skies. This dark lane in the Milky Way between Cygnus and Scutum is where a string of dense interstellar clouds block the view of more distant stars. At longer wavelengths in the infrared, light passes through these clouds more easily and we get a better view of the overall shape of our Galaxy, but there are still enough clouds created a dark reddened lane through the middle of the Milky Way.

Milky Way picturesback back

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