from DSO-InsideTheFalcon Website
This is our galaxy, the "Milky Way",
viewed from above.
Milky Way is a large spiral galaxy containing roughly
billion stars disposed in the form of a disk, with several spiral
arms coiling around a central bulge.
The diameter of the disk is about 100,000 light years and the Sun is
located about 30,000 light years from the Milky Way’s nucleus on the
Orion arm, at the center of the little red grid.
This grid delimits a square area of about 1,500x1,500 light years,
magnified in the map below.
This above is the galactic environment within
1500 light years from Sol, rich of gas clouds.
Note the "Dumbbell nebula" on the top left, Polaris on the bottom
left, the Pleiades and
Betelgeuse below the central
red square grid, Rigel (Beta Orionis) on the bottom right, Hadar (Beta Centauri) on
the top right, Antares above the central red grid.
The red grid is a square area of about 400x400 light years,
magnified in the map below, with our Sun at the center.
This above image represents the
Many stars on this map are present also in the simulated galaxy of
Our solar system is located in an unusual region of space called the
"Local Bubble" because the ISM (InterStellar Medium) in this area is
much less dense than the ISM surrounding it.
Scientists believe that this bubble may have been created by a
The key to the maps above.
Earth's Location in the Universe
Local Group of Galaxies
A diagram of our location in the observable Universe
conception of the spiral structure of the Milky Way
with two major
stellar arms and a bar.
Milky Way - Spiral Arms
Each spiral arm describes a
logarithmic spiral (as
do the arms of all spiral galaxies) with a pitch of
approximately 12 degrees. Until recently, there were
believed to be four major spiral arms which all start
near the galaxy's center.
These are named as follows,
according to the image above.