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Milky Way, Our home Galaxy

In the night sky you can see our home galaxy, Milky Way spanning across the sky. Camera reveals that it consists of millions of stars. In our galaxy there is 400 billion stars. The diameter of our galaxy is 100000 light years. We are at the distance of 30000 light years from the center of our galaxy. Closest star Alfa Centauri is at distance of 4.4 light years. Almost every star has planets. Large amount of the planets are located in a zone, where is suitable conditions for life. Latest estimate is that in our Milky Way galaxy there may be about 100 billion planets in zone of life. From the picture you can see that stars are concentrated on disk like shape. Big dark dust clouds cover the glow of stars in many places. Hydrogen gas clouds like North America nebula glow in reddish color. Picture is a combination of pictures taken in Finland in October 2016 and in Gran Canaria 12.6.2013. The Milky Way center is on right in constellation of Sagittarius. The center of our galaxy contains a large black hole. The angular size of the picture is 135 x 45 degrees.

Below is center of Milky Way imaged in Gran Canaria, June 2013. Picture area is about 20x10 degrees. The M24 is the Great Sagittarius Star Cloud.

Zooming into imageabowe.

Below is composite picture of our Milky Way Galaxy. Pictures of 10x4 degree parts of sky are combined to one. Picture taken in August 2017 with EF100-400L tele zoom lens set to 100mm focus. You can examine larger version of the picture by clicking here.

Year 2017 images taken in Finland combined with images taken in Gran Canaria 2013. Link to large version.

Part of the composite picture. Below northern part of constellation of Cygnus(Swan). North America nebula glows red. Dark dust clouds cover the glow of stars. In these clouds there has been found very complex molecules, even amino acids. The bright star Deneb is 200 times larger than Sun. Distance to Deneb is 1600 light years.

Another part of the composite picture. Southern part of constellation of Cygnus. The brigth star is Albireo. The size of picture has been reduced to 1200x800 pixels for the internet. Original one is 5200x3500 pixels.

Below is globular star cluster Messier 13 in constellation of Hercules. Distance is 25000 light years. This cluster has one million stars. Our galaxy has about 100-200 these kind of globular clusters. These clusters are very old. They were born at same time as our galaxy, about 10 billion years ago. Photograph was taken 5th of September 2016 with Celestron 8 F6.3 focus. Exposures 9 times 30 seconds, ISO6400.

Below are more globular clusters. Omega Centauri is in the southern sky. Image was taken at Gran Canaria 11.6.2013. M3 image was taken 2.3.2013 with C8 F6 focus. M92 at Hercules 12.8.2012.

Copyright (c) for pictures, 2017 Harry Rabb. All rights reserved.

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