Out-Of-This-World Facts About The Milky Way Galaxy
Though it has been established for so many years already, knowing that hundreds of billions of planets are out there is still quite a mind-blowing fact to sink in. Over the years, scientists and researchers have made several investments in studying the systems and galaxies out there. And though a lot has already been covered, it’s still a relatively small piece in the bigger picture.
Studies have discovered that there are many galaxies out there besides the Milky Way, where planet Earth resides. Though that is the case, there is still so much to learn about our own universe – and even our own blue planet. Hopefully, this article can help give you a head start on your educational journey through space. And without further ado, let’s talk about a few out-of-this-world facts about the Milky Way.
A Quantity So Incomprehensible
Thanks to the breakthroughs in technology, scientists now have near-unlimited access to studying the planets and galaxies scattered all around the universe. However, though this modern-day equipment has made research work all the more convenient, they are still unable to comprehend how vast the world is outside this blue planet.
One of the European Space Agency’s most significant investments in the field of science is its Gaia satellite. Since its deployment to space, Gaia has mapped around a billion stars in this galaxy alone. However, though this is undoubtedly a large quantity, this batch of billions only contains one percent of the entire Milky Way, meaning that the actual value can be closer to the hundreds of billions.
More Than Meets The Eye
Sometimes, spending the night just looking at the stars in the sky can be more than enough to relax one’s mind after a long week of work. And to add some degree of fun to it, it wouldn’t hurt to focus and look around for constellations, like the Big Dipper and Orion’s belt.
Most nights, there is undoubtedly an uncountable number of stars to look at. However, though they are indeed many, the ones we see at night, surprisingly, don’t make up the whole Milky Way – we only see 0.000003% of the galaxy. It goes to show that there’s still so much more to learn, even for the things within our sights.
One Long Lap To The Finish Line
More often than not, people celebrate the first day of the year with their friends and family, all while enjoying a nice meal and the colorful view of the fireworks in the night sky. However, if we look at it from another angle, celebrating New Year’s Day can also be our way of congratulating the Earth for entirely revolving around the Sun. And though one year is sometimes too long a duration to orbit the Sun, wait until you find out how long it takes for the Sun to revolve around the Milky Way galaxy.
The Earth has been orbiting the Sun for more than a billion years already, way before “electricity” and “word” were even words. However, throughout this duration, the Sun has only made 20 complete orbits around the Milky Way. The one year it takes the Earth to orbit around the Sun is only a millisecond compared to the Sun’s duration to circle the galaxy – it takes around 250 million years to complete one.
Not Such A Small World After All
Though there isn’t an exact value as to how many galaxies there are in the universe, it’s still quite a mind-boggling thing for anyone to visualize. Over the years, researchers have discovered several things about the Earth, other planets, and even about other solar systems – in the Milky Way alone, there are around 500 discovered systems. And if that isn’t vast enough for you, there’s still more.
The several investments made to studying the worlds beyond our planet has led to many discoveries over the years. Among these findings is one that further supports the idea that this Solar System is just a small part of an entirely gigantic jigsaw puzzle. This universe is divided into an estimated 10 million superclusters, with each one composed of several galaxies. And, of course, each galaxy is comprised of numerous planets. Not such a small world after all, right?
There is just so much to learn about the world. And even with all the investment money researchers and scientists have spent, the discoveries they have made over the years are still small pieces compared to the bigger picture at hand. However, a relatively minute discovery is always better than learning nothing at all. And with every new achievement made in the field of science, who knows how long it will take before intergalactic traveling can become a reality?