Milky Way Essay

Here are ten such facts, listed in no particular order: For starters, the Milky Way is a disk about 120,000 light years across with a central bulge that has a diameter of 12,000 light years (see the Guide to Space article for more information).

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Its halo is not the conventional glowing sort we tend to think of when picturing angels or observing comets.

In this case, the halo is actually invisible, but its existence has been demonstrated by running simulations of how the Milky Way would appear without this invisible mass, and how fast the stars inside our galaxy’s disk orbit the center.

The tugging creates a sort of oscillating frequency that pulls on the galaxy’s hydrogen gas, of which the Milky Way has lots of (for more information, check out How the Milky Way got its Warp).

Scientists believe that 90% of our galaxy’s mass consists of dark matter, which gives it a mysterious halo.

The Milky Way has between 100-400 billion stars; but when you look up into the night sky, the most you can see from any one point on the globe is about 2,500.

This number is not fixed, however, because the Milky Way is constantly losing stars through supernovae, and producing new ones all the time (about seven per year).

The heavier the galaxy, the faster they should be orbiting.

If one were to assume that the galaxy is made up only of matter that we can see, then the rotation rate would be significantly less than what we observe.

In fact, it is warped in shape, a fact which astronomers attribute to the our galaxy’s two neighbors -the Large and Small Magellanic clouds.

These two dwarf galaxies — which are part of our “Local Group” of galaxies and may be orbiting the Milky Way — are believed to have been pulling on the dark matter in our galaxy like in a game of galactic tug-of-war.

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