Milky Way

IMAGE NUMBER: P6980 LICENSE: RIGHTS MANAGED

Milky Way. Central Milky Way centered on the constellation of Sagittarius its brightest part. The Milky Way is a bright band in the night sky caused by the light of stars which are too numerous to be seen individually. The dark areas at the center of the picture are caused by clouds of interstellar dust which block the light from the stars behind them. The red areas are nebulae or clouds of gas which reflect the light from stars. The Milky Way appears as a band because the stars lie mainly along one plane of our galaxy's disk. There are at least 100 billion stars in the Milky Way. Composite image.

Credit: Frank Zullo / Science Source

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