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What is the Milky Way Galaxy?

naseeam asked
What is the Milky Way Galaxy?
      This is a 6th grade question
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It is the collection of stars in which our sun resides.
The milky way is the collection of stars which make a band across the sky in low light areas and is the edge on part of the milky way galaxy which we can see from our position near the edge of the galaxy
Most Valuable Expert 2014
Top Expert 2015

I'd ask another 6th grade question:
Do you know how to use a dictionary or do a web search?
In general, a Galaxy is a very large structure which can consist of 100's of billions of individaul stars.
The Milky Way Galaxy is the name given to the specific galaxy to which our Sun belongs.  It is named that because of how it appears in the night sky (when seen from a very dark location, far from city lights), as a fairly narrow 'milky' band of stars wheich extends across the sky.  All of the stars which we can see at night are members of the Milky Way Galaxy.  Our galaxy belongs to a class of galaxies called Spirals, which are disk shaped, with the disk composed of several 'spiral' arms, extending outward from the center.

You might want to loook at this web site:



Beyond a basic definition, check out a map of the Milky Way:

This map shows the full extent of the Milky Way galaxy - a spiral galaxy of at least two hundred billion stars.
Our Sun is buried deep within the Orion Arm about 26 000 light years from the centre. Towards the centre of the Galaxy the stars are packed together much closer than they are where we live. Notice also the presence of small globular clusters of stars which lie well outside the plane of the Galaxy, and notice too the presence of a nearby dwarf galaxy - the Sagittarius dwarf - which is slowly being swallowed up by our own galaxy.


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Thank you! That was very helpful.

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