Milky Way Position In The Sky

By | 02/11/2022

The Milky Way Galaxy

Image of the Milky Way Galaxy
This paradigm is from observations made by the COBE satellite. COBE was launched by NASA in Nov, 1989. It was designed to study the radiation believed to be a remnant of the explosion that started the expansion of the Universe. In scientific terms, it measured the diffuse infrared and microwave background radiation.

The epitome is a near-infrared paradigm of the Milky Fashion. It shows the Milky Way from an edge-on perspective with the north pole of our Milky way at the top and the southward pole at the lesser. At near-infrared wavelengths, the ascendant source of low-cal is stars within our Galaxy. Even though our solar system is part of the Milky Way, the view looks afar because most of the light comes from the population of stars that are closer to the galactic heart (the big bulge in the middle of the disk) rather than our ain Sun.

We livein the Milky Way Galaxy. If you lot were looking down on the Milky way, it would wait similar a large pinwheel rotating in space. Our Galaxy is a spiral galaxy that formed approximately xiv billion years agone. Contained in the Milky Way are stars, clouds of dust and gas called nebulae, planets, and asteroids. Stars, grit, and gas fan out from the center of the Galaxy in long spiraling arms. The Milky Way is approximately 100,000 low-cal-years in diameter. Our solar system is 26,000 light-years from the heart of the Galaxy. All objects in the Galaxy revolve around the Galaxy’south center. It takes 250 million years for our Sun (and the Globe with it) to brand one revolution around the center of the Milky Way.

When yous look up at the nighttime sky, most of the stars you run into are in one of the Milky way artillery. 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 information technology the Via Galactica, or “route fabricated of milk”. This is how our Milky way became known every bit the Milky Way.

It is interesting to note that astronomers capitalize the “Thousand” in galaxy when talking about our Milky Way!

Multiwavelength Milky Way
Explanation Me

Today, astronomers have been able to observe the Galaxy in all regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. They have had to exist clever in making the observations since they are having to await through the disk of the Galaxy from our location in one of the arms! Below, you can see that the Galaxy looks very dissimilar in different wavelengths of light. Y’all tin read more about this at the Multiwavelength Milky way Web site.

Radio (Diminutive Hydrogen)

Column density of atomic hydrogen derived from radio surveys of the 21-cm spectral line of hydrogen. On a large scale the 21-cm emission traces the “warm” interstellar medium, which is organized into diffuse clouds of gas and dust that have sizes of up to hundreds of low-cal years. Most of the image is based on the Leiden-Dwingeloo Survey of Galactic Neutral Hydrogen. This survey was conducted over a period of iv years using the Dwingeloo 25-chiliad radio telescope.


  • Burton, W. B. 1985, Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. Ser., 62, 365
  • Hartmann, Dap, & Burton, W. B., “Atlas of Galactic Neutral Hydrogen,” Cambridge Univ. Printing, (1997, book and CD-ROM)
  • Kerr, F. J., et al. 1986, Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. Ser.


Composite mid and far-infrared intensity observed by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS). About of the emission is thermal, from interstellar dust warmed by captivated starlight, including that in star-forming regions embedded in interstellar clouds. Emission from interplanetary grit in the solar system, the “zodiacal emission,” has been modeled and subtracted; the black, wedge-shaped areas indicate gaps in the IRAS survey.


  • Wheelock, S. L., et al. 1994, IRAS Sky Survey Atlas Explanatory Supplement, JPL Publication 94-11 (Pasadena: JPL) Order: CASI HC A08/MF A02


Intensity of visible calorie-free from a mosaic of broad-field photographs by Laustsen, Madsen, & West (1987). Attributable to the strong obscuration by interstellar grit the calorie-free is primarily from stars within a few chiliad light-years of the Dominicus, nearby on the scale of the Milky Manner, which has a bore on the lodge of 100,000 low-cal years. Nebulosity from hot, low-density gas is widespread in the image. Dark patches are due to absorbing dust clouds.


  • Laustsen, S., Madsen, C., West, R. 1987, Exploring the Southern Sky, (Berlin: Springer-Verlag)


Composite Ten-ray intensity observed by the Position-Sensitive Proportional Counter (PSPC) instrument on the Roentgen Satellite (ROSAT). In the Milky way, extended soft 10-ray emission is detected from hot, shocked gas. At the lower X-ray energies especially, the interstellar medium strongly absorbs the X-rays, and cold clouds of interstellar gas are seen every bit shadows against background Ten-ray emission. Color variations betoken variations of absorption or of the temperatures of emitting regions. The blackness regions indicate gaps in the ROSAT survey.


  • Snowden, S. L., et al. 1995 Astrophys. J., 454, 643

Online information admission:

ROSAT All-Sky Survey at MPE

ROSAT information archives at the HEASARC

Gamma Ray

Intensity of high-energy gamma-ray emission observed by the Energetic Gamma -Ray Experiment Telescope (EGRET) instrument on the Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory (CGRO). The prototype includes all photons with energies greater than 100 MeV. At these farthermost energies, virtually of the celestial gamma-rays originate in collisions of catholic rays with hydrogen nuclei in interstellar clouds. The bright, compact sources point high-energy phenomena associated with pulsars.


  • Hunter, S. D., et al. 1997, Astrophys. J., 481, 205
  • Thompson, D. J., et al. 1996, Astrophys. J. Suppl., 107, 227

Online data access:

EGRET data from the Compton Observatory SSC