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Multiwavelength Milky Way - Milky Way Theme

mosaic image of portions of separate Milky Way images

Topics in this section
Lesson plans available on-line from other sources

Online images

Other Sections:
The Nature of Light
Mapping the Sky

Our Solar System's Place in the Milky Way
Sun-Milky Way relation - Edge-on view
Edge-On View
Sun-Milky Way relation - Face-on view
Face-On View

The Milky Way galaxy is the galaxy in which we live. It is is generally considered an Sbc-type galaxy. It has a central bulge of stars, and spiral arms of gas and stars in a disk.

We view the Milky Way essentially edge-on from our perspective near the plane of the disk and 28,000 light years from the Galactic center. The images presented are not of the entire sky, just a band stretching 10° above and 10° below the plane of our galaxy.

allsky image
Where the images are taken

The following lesson plans are designed to help you learn more about the structure, shape, and size of the Milky Way galaxy. You will see how astronomers determined our solar system's location in the Milky Way, and learn about other objects found in our galaxy.

I. The structure and shape of the Milky Way
   A. Hubble's Tuning Fork Diagram
   B. Stars, gas and dust

II. The Milky Way's size and our location in it

Lesson plans available on-line from other sources:
1. From NASA's Observatorium:
   9-12 grade. "Stars: An Introduction" -
   Lesson on what stars are and what makes them shine.

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