You are on page 1of 22

The Galaxies

The Milky Way Galaxy

Is a spiral galaxy in which our solar system is located. The center of
the galaxy lies in the Sagittarius Constellation.
It is about 100,000 ly across, 2,000 ly thick, and our solar system is
located 26,000 ly away from the center of the galaxy.
There are hundreds of billions of stars in our galaxy.
All these stars orbit around a super massive black hole millions of M
at the galaxies center.

Structure of the Milky Way Galaxy

At the center of our galaxy is a central bulge, which is a flattened
sphere of stars of 12,000 ly in diameter.
Further out we have a disk of stars that is made up of arms of stars
that spiral around the galaxy.

Then our galaxies disk is surrounded by a spherical shell of star and

other matter called the halo.

Galactic Nucleus
The Galactic nucleus or bulge at the center of the galaxy is very
crowed with stars.
If you lived on a planet in the galactic nucleus it would always be day

Near the center of the galaxy there are hundreds of stars within 1 ly.

Orbiting the center of our galaxy other than the disk, are two
spherical shells of stars and other matter.
The first shell is about 100,000 ly away from the center of the galaxy
and contains many globular clusters.
A globular cluster is a group of stars that are very close together.
The next most outer shell has stars that are believed to contain some
of the oldest stars in the universe.

Galactic Cannibalism
Astronomers have observed 24 small galaxies that orbit our galaxy in the
These smaller galaxies are losing stars because the gravity of the Milky
Way. Eventually these galaxies will cease to exist, due to being ripped apart
by our galaxy.
This process of a larger galaxy consuming smaller galaxies is called galactic
Most of the stars in the halos are though to be remnants of smaller

The Galaxy is rotating

Our galaxy is rotating, our sun rotates around the center of the galaxy
at 500,000 mi/h.
However there is a mystery to the rotation of the stars in the galaxy.
The stars toward the outer parts of the of the galaxy are rotating
much faster than we calculate they should be.

Dark Matter
Since stars are orbiting much faster than the should be, there must be
more gravitational force from the galaxy that acts on distant stars that we
cant see.
Therefore there must be matter beyond the visible matter that we see.
Nearly 90% of our galaxies mass is yet to be discovered.
This missing mass we refer to as dark matter. Whatever it is we cant see it
in any wavelength of light.
Scientists estimate that a spherical halo of dark matter should extend our
12 times further from the galactic nucleus than we are.

Types of Galaxies
There are three main types of galaxies.
Spiral galaxies: a galaxy with arms that spiral around a central bulge.
Elliptical galaxies: are disc shaped with no arms. These range in size
from the biggest to the smallest galaxies in the Universe.
Irregular galaxies: are galaxies that do not have spiral or elliptical

Spiral Galaxy

Elliptical Galaxy

Irregular Galaxy

Expansion of the Universe

The Universe is expanding. There is an energy that is unknown called
dark energy that is causing this expansion.
There for all galaxies are moving away from each other.
Collisions between galaxies are still possible on a small scale due to
gravity of large galaxies being able to pull in smaller ones.

The Universe
Astronomers estimate that are at least 100 billion galaxies in the Universe.
Our galaxy has 100 billion stars.

Our star the Sun has 8 planets.

From this we can see just how many stars and planets are in our Universe.
But remember this is just the visible matter we can see. There is still much
more we havent discovered yet.