Space Facts

Milky Way Galaxy Facts

The Milky Way Galaxy – skysurvey.org

The Milky Way Galaxy is our home galaxy in the universe. It is a fairly typical barred spiral with four major arms in its disk, at least one spur, and a newly discovered outer arm. The galactic centre, which is located about 26,000 light-years from Earth, contains at least one supermassive black hole (called Sagittarius A*), and is crossed by a bar. The Milky Way began forming around 12 billion years ago and is part of a group of about 50 galaxies called the Local Group. The Andromeda Galaxy is part of this group as are numerous smaller galaxies, including the Magellanic Clouds. The Local Group itself is part of a larger gathering of galaxies called the Virgo Supercluster of galaxies.

Milky Way Galaxy Profile

Type:Barred Spiral
Diameter:100,000 - 180,000 ly
Distance to Galactic Centre:27,000 ly
Mass:800 - 1,500 M☉
Age:13.6 Billion years
Number of Stars100 - 400 billion
Constellation:Sagittarius
Group:Local Group

Facts about the Milky Way