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How to see the Milky Way Galaxy from Earth at night with the naked eye?

The Milky Way Galaxy is one of the most interesting naked eye sights in the night sky. 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. However, it’s not bright, and it’s not always well placed to be seen. So to see the Milky Way Galaxy Earth, you will have to meet the following minimum requirements:
‐ Finding a dark clear night sky with no moonlight are the key words here for a best view of the Milky Way in the grand design (you can get an app that will show you the Moon Phases Calendar);
‐ No city lights, no headlights, basically as far as you can from any source of light pollution. You will need to travel far from any city, to a wild area or rural countryside. 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. TIP: Using binoculars can increase the view experience being able to see other galaxies as Andromeda Galaxy (M31), nebulae and event comets.
‐ 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 in Northern Hemisphere.

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.


What can I see in the Milky Way Galaxy from Earth?

  • The summer Milky Way will look brighter in the Northern Hemisphere. Most noticeably you should be able to see the Great Rift in good dark skies. This dark lane in the Milky Way Galaxy 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 Galaxy.
  • The two Magellanic Clouds irregular dwarf galaxies are visible from the Southern Hemisphere which may be orbiting our Milky Way Galaxy.

Milky Way facts

  • 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.

  • 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.

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Astronomical Eventsback back

2015 Meteor Showers

Quadrantids Meteor Shower January 3, 4

– The Quadrantids (QUA) are a January meteor shower. The Zenithal Hourly Rate (ZHR) of this shower can be as high as that of two other reliably rich meteor showers, the Perseids in August and the Geminids in December. Yet Quadrantid meteors are not seen as often as meteors in these other two showers, because the peak intensity is exceedingly sharp, sometimes lasting only hours.

Lyrids Meteor Shower April 22, 23

– The April Lyrids (LYR, IAU) are a meteor shower lasting from April 16 to April 26 each year. The radiant of the meteor shower is located in the constellation Lyra, near this constellation’s brightest star, Alpha Lyrae (proper name Vega). Their peak is typically around April 22 each year.

Eta Aquariids Meteor Shower April 22, 23

– The Eta Aquariids  are a meteor shower visible from about April 21 to about May 20 each year with peak activity on or around May 6. Unlike most major annual meteor showers, there is no sharp peak for this shower, but rather a plateau of good rates that last approximately one week centered on May 7. Astronomers suggest watching the shower just before dawn.

Delta Aquariids Meteor Shower July 28, 29

– The Southern Delta Aquariids are a meteor shower visible from mid July to mid August each year with peak activity on July 28 or 29 July. The shower originated from the breakup of what are now the Marsden and Kracht Sungrazing comets.

Perseids Meteor Shower August 12, 13

– The Perseids are a prolific meteor shower associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle. The Perseids are so called because the point from which they appear to come, called the radiant, lies in the constellation Perseus.

Draconids Meteor Shower October 7

– The October Draconids, in the past also unofficially known as the Giacobinids, are a meteor shower whose parent body is the periodic comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner. They are named after the constellation Draco, where they seemingly come from.

Orionids Meteor Shower October 21, 22

– The Orionid meteor shower, usually shortened to the Orionids, is the most prolific meteor shower associated with Halley’s Comet. The Orionids are so-called because the point they appear to come from, called the radiant, lies in the constellation Orion, but they can be seen over a large area of the sky.

Taurids Meteor Shower November 4, 5

– The Taurids are an annual meteor shower associated with the comet Encke. They are named after their radiant point in the constellation Taurus, where they are seen to come from in the sky. Because of their occurrence in late October and early November, they are also called Halloween fireballs.

Leonids Meteor Shower November 17, 18

– The Leonids are a prolific meteor shower associated with the comet Tempel-Tuttle. The Leonids get their name from the location of their radiant in the constellation Leo: the meteors appear to radiate from that point in the sky.

Geminids Meteor Shower December 13, 14

– The Geminids are a meteor shower caused by the object 3200 Phaethon, which is thought to be a Palladian asteroid with a “rock comet” orbit. This would make the Geminids, together with the Quadrantids, the only major meteor showers not originating from a comet.

Ursids Meteor Shower December 21, 22

– The Ursids meteor shower activity begins annually around December 17 and runs for a week plus, until the 25th or 26th. This meteor shower is named for its radiant point which is located near the star Beta Ursae Minoris (Kochab) in the constellation Ursa Minor

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