September 27, 2022

How to spot the Milky Way in the night sky

How to spot the Milky Way in the night sky
How to spot the Milky Way in the night skyHow to spot the Milky Way in the night sky
New Scientist Default Image

Antonio Solano/Alamy

EVERY star you can see in the sky with the naked eye belongs to our galaxy, the Milky Way. Most of these, including our sun, are part of a spiral arm that stretches out from the heart of the galaxy.

But the Milky Way’s dense centre is packed with stars and other spiral arms that sit in a flat disc in space. From our position, the view towards the middle of this disc looks like a band arching across the sky.

Astronomers aren’t sure precisely how many stars are contained in our galaxy, but estimates put it at between 100 billion and 400 billion. The …