Milky Way

Milky Way Galaxy showing major arms
Image from Steve Bowers
Milky Way Galaxy showing major arms

The spiral galaxy in which we live. It is about 100,000 light-years in diameter and 1,000 light-years thick along the arms - thicker towards the core. There are about 4 hundred billion stars in the Milky Way, not including brown dwarfs. Sol is about 26,000 light-years from the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, and the Terragen Sphere spans a region from 20,000 to 32,000 LY from the center.
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    The densest, brightest central region of a galaxy.
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    A disk-shaped galaxy with a spiral pattern of arms, typically containing 1010 or more solar masses of stars, dust, and gas.
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    This minor galaxy has been spread out by a still on-going collision with the Milky Way. The closest parts of this remnant have been colonised by the Red Star M'Pire.
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    M 31 / NGC 598. This minor irregular galaxy is located at the opposite end of the galactic core to settled space. The Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy is approximately 10,000 light years in diameter, and roughly spheroid in shape. It is adjacent to, possibly colliding with, the base of the Outer Arm. Relativistic exploration missions have departed for this galaxy but are not expected to arrive for many tens of thousands of years.
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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Initially published on 08 December 2001.