Milky Way Facts



  • The Milky Way is the faint, hazy band of light that you can see stretching right across the night sky.
  • Looking through binoculars, you would see that the Milky Way is made up of countless stars.
  • A galaxy is a vast group of stars, and the Milky Way is the galaxy we live in.
  • There are billions of galaxies in space.
  • The Milky Way is 100,000 light-years across and 1000 light-years thick. It is made up of 100 billion stars.
  • All the stars are arranged in a spiral (like a giant Catherine wheel), with a bulge in the middle.
  • Our Sun is just one of the billions of stars on one arm of the spiral.
  • The Milky Way is whirling rapidly, spinning our Sun and all its other stars around at 100 million km/h. The Sun travels around the galaxy once every 200 million years – a journey of 100,000 light-years.
  • The huge bulge at the center of the Milky Way is about 20,000 light-years across and 3000 thick. It contains only very old stars and little dust or gas.
  • There may be a huge black hole in the very middle of the Milky Way.