What's Milky Way?
Updated: Aug 21, 2021
The Solar System is located in the Milky Way, a huge spiral galaxy containing millions of stars. They are grouped in “Arms” that spiral outwards. All of the stars are travelling around a point at the centre. Scientists think there is a supermassive black hole located there that sucks anything that gets too close to it.
The night sky
On a clear, dark night it is possible to see the Milky Way stretching across the sky as a bright, cloudy band. Although Milky way is a spiral galaxy, it doesn’t look like it from the Earth because we are inside it!
The distance from one edge of the galaxy to the other is 120,000/1,20,000 light years. A light year is the distance light travels in a year.
The pull of gravity from a black hole is so great that not even light can escape it. Supermassive black holes, like the one at the centre of the Milky Way, also fire out jets of energy.