Here we have the entire galactic system or galaxy, of which on the previous
page we saw only what is now in the small square. Our galaxy is a spiral; it
has the shape of a disk from which a number of spiral arms protrude. At the
center the disk is much thicker than at the edges, where it is quite thin; the bright
shining center bulges out. We see this circular disk partly tilted from the side, so
that it looks like an ellipse. In the small square we now recognize in the streak
of light a rather irregular spiral arm near which our solar system is situated.
Apart from this one, other spiral arms can be seen. Below on the right there is
a strange nebulous body. It is the Great Magellanic Cloud, a much smaller galaxy,
far behind our own Milky Way. The white spots around the galaxy are the
hundred and more globular clusters of stars which surround it.
1 cm. in picture = 1022 cm. = about 10,000 light-years. ||Scale = 1:1022|