Our Beautiful Galaxy

We live in a very cool galaxy called the Milky Way. Just seeing it with visible light waves is cool enough!

We can also see it using different light waves, such as gamma rays, x-rays, near-infrared, far-infrared radio waves and microwave. Each view is different and shows you a very dynamic and energic galaxy, right out your back door!

Here’s what it looks like in visible light:MilyWay-Visable-Light

You can go outside and see this with the naked eye. What you’re looking at is our own galaxy seen edge on (because we are in an outer edge ourselves).

Now, here is the Milky Way as seen from various other frequencies of light. As you can see, we live in a beautiful galaxy! Full of light, energy, radio waves, gamma rays, x-rays, infrared light and so on:

Somewhere in the middle there is a big black hole. We’ve been able to detect the existence of our black hole because we can see stars orbiting around it very quickly, even though black holes themselves emit no light at all.

3 thoughts on “Our Beautiful Galaxy

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  1. Wayne: This stuff is amazing. We are able to detect things like Neutron Stars and Black Holes colliding. Even though light cannot escape when black holes collide, it creates ripples in space-time: Gravity Waves. I recently read Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space . Janna Levin is an astrophycisist with a knack for explaining complicated things. This book describes the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) project and the personalities involved in getting it up and running. I want to write some about this on my blog at http://www.icemoonstation.com.

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