Space...The Milky Way. The Milky Way is the spiral galaxy where our solar system lives. It is 100,000 light years in diameter and 1000 light years thick at the center of the galactic disk. There are 200-400 billion stars in the Milky Way. Our Sun is 26,400 light years from the galactical center. On a dark night, we can see a faint hazy whitish band of starlight spanning the sky. That band is the Milky Way galaxy.
Have you ever seen the band of our Milky Way Galaxy? The band of the Milky Way can be spotted by almost anyone on almost any clear night when far enough from a city and surrounding bright lights. This band is the disk of our spiral galaxy. Since we are inside this disk, the band appears to encircle the Earth. (Image: Keith Marsh 2013, Milky Way and Delicate Arch, Arches National Park near Moab, Utah).