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40 Amazing Mind Boggling Facts About Galaxy | Amazing Facts 4U

  1. A galaxy is a massive, gravitationally bound system that consists of stars and stellar remnants, an interstellar medium of gas and dust.
  2. Amazingly there are probably more than 170 billion galaxies in the observable universe.
  3. There are about 24 galaxies in the observable universe for every single person alive on earth.
  4. Supernovae explode on an average once every 100 years in a galaxy. Assuming there are 170 billion galaxies in the universe, there are 53 supernovae exploding every single second.
  5. The last time a star went supernova in our milky way galaxy was documented in 1604 and we are overdue for another one.
  6. Galaxies range from dwarfs with as few as ten million stars to giants each orbiting their galaxy’s own center of mass.
  7. Amazingly the largest galaxies contain a million, million stars.
  8. The Milky Way is what’s known as a barred spiral galaxy , it’s shaped like a spiral with a straight bar across its centre.
  9. About two-thirds of the galaxies in the known universe are spirals, and about two-thirds of the spiral galaxies are barred, making it one of the most common types of galaxies.
  10. Milky Way consist of a flat disk with a bulging centre and surrounding spiral arms such as our Milky Way Galaxy.
  11. Scientists attribute The Milky Way’s current spiral arm structure to it consuming a dwarf galaxy over 2 billion years ago.
  12. It is amazing 100,000 light years across and 6000 light years thick at the central bulge.  We see the plane of the Galaxy as a band of light stretching across the night sky.
  13. The Milky Way contains about 200 billion stars.
  14. The Milky Way has two smaller spurs , one of which is called an Orion arm which houses our Sun and the Solar system.
  15. If you gaze out into the night sky with a telescope, and see beyond what’s visible to the naked eye, you could see a lot of “stars” that are actually not stars but galaxies.
  16. There’s a super massive black hole at its heart of most of the galaxies including our milky way.
  17. Our own galaxy, The Milky Way has other smaller galaxies known satellites galaxies that orbit around it.
  18. These interstellar objects that are smaller than galaxies have been named dwarf galaxies that have several billion stars and there are even smaller objects called hobbit galaxies.
  19. Among them dwarf galaxy called Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy 42,000 light years away from the galactic centre.
  20. The Milky Way is currently in the middle of absorbing another dwarf galaxy, the Sagittarius Elliptical Galaxy.
  21. A dwarf galaxy named Segue 2 is the least massive galaxy in the known Universe, located 114,000 light-years away. The galaxy consists of just 1,000 or so stars with a bit of dark matter holding them together
  22. Even though we don’t feel it , Our entire local group of galaxies is moving at about one million miles per hour toward another galaxy group called the Virgo Cluster. The Milky Way can be seen to be just a small part of a large grouping of galaxies 150 million light years in diameter called the Virgo Super cluster.
  23. Our local group of Galaxies have 30 members of which largest is Andromeda (About 260,000 light years) followed by Milky Way (About 100,000 light years). Andromeda has almost 1 trillion stars.
  24. Our entire solar system is orbiting the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way. It takes amazing 230 million years for each rotation. In other words, we’ve made about a quarter of a single orbit since the dinosaurs died.
  25. Amazing fact is we’re actually travelling at about 828,000 kilometres (515,000 miles) per hour relative to the centre of the Milky Way. That speed would take you around the Earth in just over three minutes.
  26. The Earth and our solar system are currently travelling through in an area with just 5% of the average density of the Milky Way Galaxy. It was probably blasted clear by a supernova 300,000 years ago.
  27. Each time the Sun makes it all the way around the Milky Way, it’s known as the galactic year, or cosmic year. It’s estimated that there have been only 18 cosmic years in the history of the Solar system.
  28. Scientists have found a star, now known as S2 that is orbiting a super massive black hole at the center of our galaxy at speeds exceeding 11 million mph.
  29. Amazingly we can only see 10 % of the matter. Rest of the matter is called dark matter which is not visible yet form the rest 90 % mass about which we know little.
  30. Amazing Fact is that you can only see 0.000003% percent of Milky Way with our naked eyes.
  31. Fact is the Andromeda Galaxy and the Milky Way are approaching each other and will merge eventually. They are closing in at 200 km per second which is in fact a very small cosmic distance. They will merge in 5 billion years. Then earth will be a dead planet too hot to be inhabited.
  32. Andromeda (M31) is just one of the 10 galaxies which is barely visible being the most distant object visible with naked eye in the universe at the constellation of Andromeda.
  33. The visible size of the Andromeda galaxy is over 4 times that of our Moon when seen from earth.
  34. Andromeda spiral galaxy is the nearest large galaxy to our own Milky Way at amazing 2.5 million light years . When the photons of light that hit your eyes began their journey, there were no human beings. You are seeing an almost inconceivable 2.5 million years back.
  35. Amazing fact is that light entering our eyes from the top half of the Andromeda Galaxy is approx. 250,000 years older than the bottom half.
  36. Recently astronomers spotted the oldest and the most distant galaxy ever observed using the Hubble Telescope which is 30 billion light years away. Amazing thing to note is that the whole universe is just 13.8 billion years old and the astronomers are seeing the galaxy as it was approximately 13.1 billion years ago. It is 30 billion light years away from earth due to the rapid expansion of the universe.
  37. One of the galaxy has been named “Death Star Galaxy” because it is shooting an energetic blast of energy from its super massive black hole at its companion galaxy and thereby destroying it.
  38. Due to the increasing speed with which all known galaxies are drifting further away from each other, in a few billion years future generations anywhere in the universe will be unable to see any galaxy but their own on a clear sky.
  39. Quasars emit more energy than thousands of times the entire output of our galaxy.
  40. South African and Swedish scientists discovered that dung beetles navigate using the Milky Way for orientation. They are the first animals proven to use our galaxy for navigation.

By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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