The Milky Way Galaxy, with a diameter of 100,000 light years, is a spiral galaxy that includes the Solar System of the Earth and is divided into four basic branches as Hero, Shield-South Cross, Sagittarius and Ruler. How Nany Light Years is The Milky Way
Everyone understands something different from the word home. Some people think of the house they live in. Some of the thinkers like UNESCO think of our big stone drifting in space. But just like worms in the carpet field, we are part of something much bigger than ourselves. This is such a big thing that it is very difficult for our mind to take it. Moreover, this is not even the universe we are talking about; The Milky Way Galaxy itself. Just like other billions, it’s just a cloud of dust in space. This is our galactic home.
Milky Way Galaxy Features
|Center of the Milky Way Galaxy||In the center of our galaxy is a black hole called Sagittarius A. Its distance to the world is 26,000 light years.|
|Diameter of the Milky Way Galaxy||The diameter of our galaxy is 100,000 light years according to NASA.|
|Galaxy Closest to the Milky Way Galaxy||Currently the closest is the Great Dog Dwarf Galaxy. It is 25,000 light years from the solar system and 42,000 light years from our galaxy center. The largest galaxy closest to our galaxy is Andromeda. Andromeda is 2.54 million light years away in our galaxy.|
|The Biggest Star in the Milky Way Galaxy||The biggest star in our galaxy is VY Canis Majoris, 5,000 light years away from our world. If we put the VY Canis Majoris in place of the Sun, the VY CM takes up an area approximately to the orbit of Saturn.|
|Largest Planet in the Milky Way Galaxy||As we cannot record all the planets in the galaxy, we have no clear idea of which is the largest. But the biggest we know so far is the MOA-2011-BLG-322, 8 times the size of Jupiter.|
|Our Speed in the Milky Way Galaxy||Our Sun completes the rotation of our galaxy around 225 million years. Our sun and therefore the world move at a speed of 792,000 km per hour to make this tour.|
|How Many Stars Are There in the Milky Way Galaxy?||There are approximately 100 billion stars.|
|How Many Planets Are There in the Milky Way Galaxy?||It is estimated between 100 billion and 3.2 trillion.|
|Mass of the Milky Way Galaxy||Gwendolyn Eadie from McMaster University has an estimate if it is difficult to give exact numbers in such sizes. The mass of our galaxy is 700 billion times the mass of the Sun. The mass of the Sun is 2 nonillion, that is 2,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kilograms. When we multiply this number by 700 billion, we find the mass of our galaxy as 1 400 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 000 kilograms.|
Two thirds of the galaxies are spiral like the Milky Way Galaxy. It has arms that fold outward from the center of the galaxy. The solar system is located in one of these branches, the Orion Branch. Orion was previously thought of as a protrusion, considering arms like Perseus and Carina-Sagittarius. Now it is thought that Orion is one of the branches on Perseus and one of the branches that do not even come from the center of the galaxy.
The problem is that it’s hard to draw a clear picture of the galaxy. Because our galaxy is not as flat as seen in the illustrations. The Milky Way Galaxy is 1000 light years thick. Therefore, when we try to look around us from the world, we cannot immediately come to certain conclusions.
Giant Black Holes
The smallest giant black hole we have observed so far has a mass of 200,000 times the Sun. This is a huge number compared to an ordinary black hole with a mass of 10 times the sun. There is such a giant black hole in the center of our galaxy. The name of this black hole is Sagittarius A.
Based on the movement of the stars behind the thick cloud layer, scientists concluded that the mass of this black hole is 4.1 million times larger than the mass of our Sun. When the stars approach black holes, they achieve incredible speeds. One of these stars, S0-2, travels around the black hole at a speed of 18 million kilometers per hour.
There is more than a black hole in the center of the galaxy that swallows everything. An incredible number of activities continue at the center. The stars burst and they bring life around them.
A high-energy wave of particles scattered around the center of the galaxy has recently been observed. Although not visible, this wave spread half the galaxy. What causes this? Star formation and extinction that lasted a hundred million years. The total energy of this geyser in the center of the galaxy is more than the energy of 100 million supernovae.
How long does a star form? Dr. Roland Diehl and his team investigated the answer to this question. They started by making an aluminum-26 map; because whenever a star is born or dies, aluminum-26 is almost always there. According to this map, 7 stars are born every year in the Milky Way Galaxy, and a giant star explodes into a supernova every 200 years.
When we consider the galactic dimensions, the Milky Way is not the largest star producer. When a star dies, its basic particles like hydrogen and helium scatter around. These come together after a while and become a cloud of dust, and when they come together in a small area in sufficient numbers, their centers collapse under gravity and a new star forms.
Billions of Planets
Despite all these chaotic explosions, life continues in the universe. According to scientists, there are so many planets in the Milky Way Galaxy that there will be at least one for each star. This number can rise up to 3.2 trillion.
The researchers guessed this by studying the Kepler-32 M dwarf star, which was relatively close to us. Because M dwarf stars make up 75% of the stars in the galaxy. Kepler-32 also has 5 planets in its system. But we still don’t have a narrow gap in the number of planets. Because planets do not shine around like stars.
Billions of Earth-Like Planets
100 billion planets are really huge. But how much does it look like the world and can support life on it? It’s not much more. There are many types of planets: gas giants, pulsars, brown dwarfs, molten metal planets … Yet, according to recent research, scientists think there may be between 11 and 40 billion planet-like planets.
These are neither too far nor too close to the Sun. So they can have liquid water on them, and perhaps this will allow them to have life on them.
No matter how many stars are born, Milky Way needs to buy stuff from outside to continue growing. Although we don’t know exactly how it did this before, we now have an idea. The Milky Way Galaxy has swallowed smaller galaxies and will continue to do so until about four billion years later it collides with Andromeda Galaxy and is swallowed by it.
From the images that Hubble Space Telescope has collected in seven years, it has been revealed that some stars are tangent to the galaxy. Normally, stars move either towards the center of the galaxy or outward from the center of the galaxy. Scientists believe that the stars that make this tangent movement are the remnants of galaxies that had previously been swallowed by the Milky Way.
Although we think of the Milky Way Galaxy spirally, this is not exactly the right definition. Because in the center of the galaxy there is a bulge that makes it look like a pancake with cream on it. The reason for this is the hydrogen gas molecules that extend out of the two-dimensional spiral.
This fact has confused astronomers a lot. Because when we think logically, the gas had to go to the center, not far from the center. So what causes molecules to vibrate on their own?
Probably small galaxies called dark matter and Magellanic clouds. The mass of Magellanic clouds is 2% of the Milky Way. It cannot affect the Milky Way alone, but when combined with dark matter it can lead to strange behavior. Because the dark matter that circulates among the clouds causes some kind of ripple. It seems that this fluctuation also affects the gravity of the Milky Way Galaxy.
There is more interesting. Magellanic clouds orbit the Milky Way Galaxy. While walking around the galaxy, the arms it passes by fluctuates like a flag waving in the wind.
Although the Milky Way Galaxy is special in many ways, it is not a rare species in the universe. We have even said before that most of their galaxies are of this type. From this point of view, it can be considered natural that among 170 billion observable galaxies very similar to ours.
In 2012, astronomers made a very interesting discovery. They found a galaxy very similar to ours. This galaxy had two tiny satellite galaxies that corresponded to our Magellanic clouds, which is rare. Only 3% of galaxies have satellite galaxies.
The Magellanic clouds of our galaxy will also disappear in a few billion years. So, it is quite difficult to find another spiral satellite galaxy with two satellites. This galaxy named NGC 1073 is so similar to ours that we use it to understand the Milky Way. Due to our position, it is difficult to perspective our galaxy, because we cannot look at our own galaxy from the outside.
250 Million Years Orbit
We call the length of time the Earth revolves around the Sun. We return to the point we started every 365 days. It is quite natural for everything around to orbit the giant black hole in the center of the galaxy. But this orbit takes a little longer: 250 million years. So we’ve been able to orbit a quarter since the dinosaurs died.
When describing the solar system, we often skip saying that the system itself is dragging around the galaxy. In fact, we travel at a rate of 792,000 kilometers per hour, relative to the center of the galaxy. At this speed, you could travel around the world in 3 minutes. Every rotation of the Sun around the galaxy is galactic year. The Sun is thought to have only 18 galactic years throughout its history