From Vikidia, the encyclopedia for 8 to 13-year-old children that everybody can make better
, the closest galaxy
of our own, is made of billions of stars
. It is spiral-shaped. It is really hard to have a global view of our own galaxy, the Milky Way
, since we're inside it !
A view of the Milky Way
. All the stars in that pictures belong to the same galaxy.
A galaxy is a group of billions of stars. There are many known galaxies in the Universe. They are far from one each other; there are almost no star, and even nothing, between to galaxies. Almost all known objects in the universe belong to a galaxy. Our planet, the Earth, our star, the Sun, with its Solar System, with all its planets, and even every star that can be seen with naked eye belong to our galaxy, called the Milky Way. It is hard to figure what the Milky Ways looks like because we are inside it... The closest galaxy from ours is called Andromeda. It is seen as only a tiny point with a naked eye but can be more clearly distinguishable with a telescope. We presume that the Milky Way looks like a spiral, like Andromeda. When one looks in a certain direction, so many stars from the galaxy can be seen that only a bright ribbon can be distinguished. The Ancient Greeks called it the Milky Way because of its light color, that looked like a path made of milk...
Powerful telescopes have permitted to discovered many galaxies, with various shapes, in the Universe: