On any clear night, if you are well away from sources of artificial light, you will see a misty band of radiance that girdles the sky, crossing constellations such as Cassiopeia, Cygnus and Sagittarius. We call this band the Milky Way. When Galileo first turned his telescopes to the skies he made a series of fundamental discoveries. One of these concerned the nature of the Milky Way. Even his tiny telescopes were enough to show that this luminous band is composed of innumerable faint stars apparently crowded together. We now know that the Sun at the center of our Solar System is but one member of a vast system of stars which includes all those that Galileo could see and countless more besides. This system we call the Galaxy.
KeywordsBlack Hole Star Formation Local Group Spiral Galaxy Hubble Space Telescope
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.