Milky Way Galaxy

Our home galaxy. The Milky Way is a spiral galaxy with four major arms containing young bright stars, gas, and dust. The mass of the Milky Way is estimated to be between 400 billion and one trillion times the mass of the Sun. The Milky Way's diameter is about 100,000 light-years, with the Sun orbiting about 27,000 light-years from the galactic center. However, most of the galaxy's mass consists of "dark matter" which encircles the Milky Way's disk in a vast halo. Dark matter may account for 90 percent of the Milky Way's mass.

Resources

Facts and Figures The biggest, farthest and fastest in the...
The Milky Way The Milky Way consists of a bulge of stars in...

Radio Programs

WIMP-y Glow Bright evidence of dark matter Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Dark Center Darkness in the heart of the galaxy Tuesday, July 29, 2014
The Brick Building a future stellar nursery Monday, July 28, 2014
Galactic Track A roller-coaster ride around the galaxy Sunday, July 27, 2014
Sagittarius A steaming teapot in the southern sky Thursday, July 24, 2014
Magellanic Collision New stars from a galactic collision Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Magellanic Clouds A new view of two close neighbors Monday, July 14, 2014
North Galactic Pole Gazing away from the Milky Way Saturday, April 12, 2014
Runaway Stars Stars that are leaving home in a hurry Friday, April 11, 2014
Moon in the Middle Bright stars packed around the Moon Saturday, April 5, 2014
Spring Milky Way The Milky Way brackets the night sky Friday, March 28, 2014
Galactic Archaeology Digging into the history of the galaxy Monday, March 24, 2014
Gaia II Mapping a billion stars Friday, October 4, 2013
Local Arm Wrapping our arms around our home galaxy Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Counting Stars Counting the stars in the Milky Way Friday, July 26, 2013
Black Hole Beacon A black hole announces its presence Thursday, July 25, 2013
Galactic Bubbles Keeping food from a black hole Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Good Neighborhood A good neighborhood for young stars? Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Sagittarius A teapot in the southern sky Monday, July 22, 2013
The Antennae Seeing the future of the Milky Way Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Groombridge 1830 An interloper from a distant realm Sunday, March 31, 2013
Milky Way Matters The Milky Way bulks up Saturday, February 9, 2013
M2 A distant home for old stars Sunday, January 6, 2013
Star Populations Segregating the stars of the Milky Way Monday, December 3, 2012
Collision Course Taking aim at another galaxy Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Andromeda Galaxy A galactic twin in the evening sky Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Arcturus Tracing a star’s origins Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Pipe Nebula Lighting up a dark nebula Sunday, June 17, 2012
Future Neighbor A future close neighbor to the Sun Thursday, June 14, 2012
‘Milky’ Way The “milky” band of the Milky Way Sunday, June 10, 2012
Hercules Cloud Piling up stars in the outer galaxy Thursday, May 24, 2012
Cosmic Clocks The ticking of cosmic clocks Thursday, April 12, 2012
Snack Time Snack time for a giant black hole Thursday, March 29, 2012
Alien Clusters Alien visitors from other galaxies Friday, March 23, 2012
Galactic Streams Blending into the Milky Way Thursday, March 22, 2012
Sagittarius Dwarf A galactic tug-of-war Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Satellite Galaxies Satellite galaxies for the Milky Way Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Winter Milky Way III Getting armed for a trip through the galaxy Friday, February 17, 2012
Winter Milky Way II Enlivening the galactic suburbs Thursday, February 16, 2012
Winter Milky Way Following a galactic pathway Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Alpha Persei Cluster Tracing a galactic cataclysm Sunday, October 9, 2011
Robert Trumpler Filling the space between the stars Sunday, October 2, 2011
Milky Way’s Heart V Youngsters at the heart of the Milky Way Friday, September 30, 2011
Milky Way’s Heart IV The flashy heart of the Milky Way Thursday, September 29, 2011
Milky Way’s Heart III Confirming the dark heart of the Milky Way Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Milky Way’s Heart II A sky-spanning marquee of stars Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Milky Way’s Heart Taking a peek at a busy downtown Monday, September 26, 2011
Thomas Wright Giving birth to a galaxy Wednesday, September 21, 2011
M2 An ancient family of stars Saturday, September 17, 2011
Future Skies The universe in the year one trillion Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Speedy Star Measuring the Milky Way with a single star Friday, February 18, 2011
Winter Milky Way The bright and dark Milky Way Sunday, January 30, 2011
Palomar 1 The Milky Way destroys a star cluster Saturday, December 4, 2010
Harlow Shapley Getting the scale of the universe half right Monday, November 1, 2010
Galactic Sweep From downtown to the hinterlands Friday, October 8, 2010
Galactic Map Mapping the Milky Way galaxy Sunday, September 12, 2010
Big Galaxy Our big, life-giving galaxy Sunday, September 5, 2010
Counting Clouds Counting up stellar nurseries Monday, August 9, 2010
Galactic Search Searching the bright lights of downtown Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Immigrant Clusters Invaders from other galaxies Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Galactic Melting Pot Building a "cosmopolitan" galaxy Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Winter Milky Way Shining some light on the Milky Way Friday, December 18, 2009
Hidden Neighbor Looking for a hidden neighbor Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Arches Cluster A crowded stellar neighborhood Friday, September 25, 2009
M4 A nearby family of old stars Thursday, July 30, 2009
Mighty Milky Way Soaring through the Milky Way Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Arms Race Counting the arms of the Milky Way Thursday, July 9, 2009
Moving Right Along Speeding up our trip through the galaxy Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Heart of the Galaxy The hard-to-see heart of the Milky Way Sunday, July 5, 2009
Back in the Empire A galactic colony returns to the fold Thursday, January 15, 2009

Featured Images

Artist's concept of hot gas funneling toward black hole at center of Milky Way
Dark Center Tuesday, July 29, 2014
A view of the busy Milky Way
Busy Galaxy Thursday, July 24, 2014
The Milky Way glows above the Nevada desert
Dig Site Monday, March 24, 2014
Artist's concept of the Milky Way galaxy and its dark matter halo
Illuminating the Darkness Saturday, February 9, 2013
Multispectral view of giant star-forming regions at the center of the Milky Way
Molecule Factory Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Andromeda and the Milky Way head for a galactic pile-up
Collision Course Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Artist's concept of stars and a gas cloud near the Milky Way's central black hol
Snack Time Thursday, March 29, 2012
Two globular clusters; a previously known one at right, and a new one in circle
Star City Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Stars and gas swirl around the black hole at the center of the Milky Way
Swirling Center Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Artist's concept of a free-floating planet in the Milky Way galaxy
Free Agent Thursday, May 19, 2011
Cold Fingers Friday, March 19, 2010
Cool Galaxy Monday, October 5, 2009
Hotter Galaxy Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Galactic Fireworks Saturday, July 4, 2009
Unexpected Nursery Monday, April 27, 2009
Busy Hub Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Heart of the Milky Way Saturday, December 13, 2008
Home Base Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Galactic Firepower Sunday, August 12, 2007
Growing Galaxy Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Hiding a Black Hole Wednesday, March 22, 2006
The Heart of the Matter Tuesday, January 17, 2006

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