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Number 4:  A  GALAXY

Because we are part of our own galaxy, we cannot take a picture like this of the Milky Way.  We can take only a side-on picture of the dense center.  This is another galaxy relatively near our own Milky Way.


But you would like to see what we can of the Milky Way, right?


Our Milky Way Galaxy

Imagine where we are looking from.  Our Sun is a smaller star in this galaxy.  We are traveling around that star and looking into the center of our own galaxy.  We can see this only at night, so our Sun is behind us while we take this picture.  So is the Moon, for even it reflects too much light for this work.  Grandpa considered astronomy for a career and did his senior project in astronomy.  After working at the telescope for two nights all through the night, he found that working always in the night and sleeping in the day was not going to be his choice.

Calling the center of the galaxy "dense" may be misleading.  Two tiny grains of sand in the biggest building on Earth would have that building more tightly packed with sand than the galaxy is with stars.  Even the most dense center is almost completely empty.  If you could draw a random straight line through the galaxy, there wouldn't be a chance in a million of having your line touch a single star.

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