Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Milky way
The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy of the Local Group. Though the Milky Way is but one of billions of galaxies in the universe, the Galaxy has special significance to people as it is the home of the Solar System. Democritus was the first known person to claim that the Milky Way consists of distant stars.The term "milky" originates from the hazy band of white light appearing across the celestial sphere visible from Earth, which is included of stars and other material lying within the galactic plane. The galaxy shows brightest in the direction of Sagittarius, towards the galactic center. Relative to the celestial equator, the Milky Way passes as far north as the assembly of Cassiopeia and as remote south as the constellation of Crux, indicating the high inclination of Earth's equatorial plane and the plane of the ecliptic relative to the galactic plane. The truth that the Milky Way divides the night sky into two roughly equal hemispheres indicates that the solar system lies close to the galactic plane.

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