The Milky Way Galaxy is one of the billions of galaxies present in the universe. It is our home galaxy and contains our solar system, stars, planets, black holes, and other billions of objects.
Let’s see 20 special facts about our milky way galaxy (must read 7th number in the list to explore more about our galaxy facts and the largest one):-
20 Interesting Facts about the Milky Way
1. Our milky way galaxy is around 12.8 billion years old, whereas the universe’s origin age is around 13.7 billion years. So the universe is not so much older than our galaxy.
2. Milky way is part of a group of galaxies called the Local Group. The local group contains 50 galaxies including Milky Way, our neighbor galaxy Andromeda, and other larger and smaller galaxies.
3. The mass of the milky way is 1500,000,000,000 (1.5 trillion) times the mass of the sun.
4. The center of the milky way is called the galactic center.
5. There is a massive black hole in the galactic center called Sagittarius A*. The Sagittarius A* black hole is spread over 44,000,000 km in diameter and has a mass of 4 million suns.
6. It is a barred spiral-shaped galaxy with a diameter of approximately 150,000 light-years and its thickness is approximately 10,000 light-years. Because of its low thickness, it looks like a disc shape.
7. The majority of the mass of the milky way galaxy concentrated in the area called the galactic plane. There are millions of stars wrapping around the galactic plane. So after adding these stars, the actual diameter of the milky way becomes 200,000 million light-years.
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8. Our solar system including the sun and other planets is located 27000 lights years away from its galactic center.
9. More than 90% of the mass of the milky way is invisible and this mass referred to as ‘dark matter’.
10. Stars, dust, gases, and other objects including our solar system orbit the center of the milky way with approximately 220 km/sec. So basically our sun and planets all are orbiting around the milky way center and it takes 240 million years to complete one revolution.
11. Just as our planets have few moon/satellite, similarly Milky Way galaxy also has many satellite galaxies.
12. Milky Way is the second-largest galaxy in the Local Group, whereas its nearest galaxy Andromeda is the largest one in Local Group Galaxies.
13. Scientists have estimated that this galaxy will collide with the Andromeda galaxy. Approaching the speed of Andromeda galaxy towards milky way is 110 km/sec and it would take around 5 billion years to collide.
14. It has around 100-400 billion stars and approximately 100 billion planets and almost 100 million stellar black holes.
15. V616 Monocerotis is the closest black hole from the earth, around 3000 light-years away from the earth.
16. Around 7 new stars are born in our galaxy every year. Proxima century is the nearest star from the earth after the sun, approximately 4.2 light-years away from the earth.
17. The oldest star of our galaxy is around 13.5 billion years ago that was formed soon after the big bang.
18. Our solar system including the sun has orbited around the milky way approximately 20 times yet. Because the formation of the solar system is about 5 billion years ago and one revolution takes 240 million years.
19. We can not take the picture of the whole milky way because we can not go outside of it. The pictures we have seen are the artist’s conception or maybe pictures of other galaxies.
20. Our sun and other stars oscillate through the galactic plane along with orbiting around the center of the galaxy.
So these were the special and interesting 20 facts about Milky Way Galaxy. You must have liked reading about it. You can check some below articles to explore more from “planets to Universe”.