Fig12_1 Milky Way

Fig12_1 Milky Way

Fig. 12.1 . A panoramic telescopic view of the Milky Way, the luminous concentration of bright stars and dark intervening dust clouds that extends in a band across the celestial sphere. We live in this disk, and look out through it. Our view is eventually blocked by the build-up of interstellar dust, and the light from more distant regions of the disk cannot get through. The center of the Milky Way is located at the center of the image, in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius. Although the disk appears wider in that direction, the center is not visible through the dust. The Large and Small Magellanic Clouds can be seen as bright swirls of light below the plane to the right of center. (This map of the Milky Way was hand-drawn from many photographs by Martin and Tatjana Keskula under the direction of Knut Lundmark; courtesy of the Lund Observatory, Sweden.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University