10 facts about the Milky Way Galaxy
The Milky Way is a large barred spiral galaxy.
If you were looking down on the Milky Way, it would look like a large pinwheel rotating in space.
Milky Way Galaxy formed approximately 14 billion years ago.
Milky Way Galaxy contains stars, clouds of dust and gas called nebulae, planets, and asteroids. Stars, dust, and gas fan out from the center of the Galaxy in long spiraling arms.
The Milky Way is approximately 100,000 light-years in diameter.
Our solar system is 26,000 light-years from the center of the Galaxy.
All objects in the Galaxy revolve around the Galaxy's center.
It takes 250 million years for our Sun (and the Earth with it) to make one revolution around the center of the Milky Way.
When you look up at the night sky, most of the stars you see are in one of the Milky Way arms.
Milky Way got its name this way: Before we had telescopes, people could not see many of the stars very clearly. They blurred together in a white streak across the sky. A myth by the ancient Greeks said this white streak was a "river of milk". The ancient Romans called it the Via Galactica, or "road made of milk".