The Milky Way galaxy is an incredible 13 billion years old formation of billions of stars and planets. It also includes in itself billion of moons, asteroids comets and plenty of other known and unknown fascinating things. All of this celestial beauty spans an estimated area of around 120000 light-years. The most mesmerizing fact that makes the Milky Way unique is that it is the birthplace of humanity. When you see it through your best portable telescopes you only see a glimpse of this amazing phenomenon.
Our milky way is full of known and unknown wonders. The more science progresses and explores the Milky Way, the more mysterious it gets. So let’s look at 10 interesting and incredible facts about this mighty system that we call the Milky Way galaxy:
1. It contains billions of earth-like planets:
Exoplanets planets are planets beyond our solar systems. The scientists know that they come in all kinds of different sizes. The most interesting ones are those that are found orbiting a star within the inhabitable zone. The galaxy that we exist within according to NASA is estimated to have 10 of billions of these types of planets. Even more exciting is the fact that many of them could be small rocky, earth-like planets that might have a life similar to earth.
2. The Galactic or Cosmic years:
Our entire solar system orbits around the sun in some way. But the sun orbits around the center of the Milky Way galaxy, which is so massive that it takes an estimated 250 million years to make one complete orbit is known as the galactic year or cosmic year. Some studies have even suggested that because of this consistent movement around the galaxy center, our solar system might be periodically running to some life-destroying situation. It is possible that massive asteroids or comets might be forced into a collision course with some inner planet.
The Milky Way has its own orbiting galaxies:
The Milky Way is a bath spiral galaxy: This expands in an area of about 120000 light-years across. With a central bulge of about 12000 light-years thick. If you were to see the entire galaxy from a side view, you would notice that it is actually warped in shape. The Milky Way’s two neighboring galaxies cause this wrapping according to scientists.
They are like the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. This pair of smaller orbiting galaxies are known as satellites. These appear to be interacting with the Milky Way’s mysterious dark matter. Resulting in this magnificent warped spiral effect.
Our Galaxy is a galactic cannibal:
Yes, you heard it right. This is because it has gained its massive size by eating up other smaller galaxies over billions of years. Within the far reaches of the Milky Way’s shell, studies suggest that leftover stars from previous acts of galactic cannibalism can even be found. Presently the Canis Major dwarf galaxy which is the closest to us is an example of this. Gravitational interactions cause this type of galactic cannibalism. Also, occur because of tidal Which results in two galaxies colliding and becoming one.
Milky Way has a gigantic black hole in its center:
Much like our large galaxies, the Milky Way has a supermassive black hole churning away at its galactic center. Around 26000 light-years from earth. It is 14 million miles across in length. Radio waves detected this massive black hole. The presence of the supermassive black holes is not uncommon in galactic centers of the galaxies. The formation of such large black holes and how they affect the evolution of galaxies is still not fully understood.
I really hope you enjoyed these 5 amazing facts about our milky way. Space is still an unsolved mystery. The enormity of the universe fascinates us more with each passing day. But every person who is passionate about exploring the space. every person who sits passionately through the night watching through their best portable telescope provides more hope and more positivity for the future of space exploration.