- Band of light stretching across the sky and caused by the high concentration of stars in the plane of our galaxy. The Milky Way can be resolved into its constituent stars and other objects by telescope The name is also applied to the Galaxy itself – the only visible galaxy not present in even the most reliable catalogues of nebulae. The Milky Way Galaxy seems to be about 20 000 parsecs across, making it a large but not giant galaxy, of about 100 billion stars. The solar system is about 8,500 parsecs from its centre.
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