Which Spiral Arm of the Milky Way Do We Live In?
We reside in an island of stars called the Milky Way Galaxy, and numerous know that our Milky Way Galaxy is a spiral galaxy. Actually to be more precise, it’s a barred spiral galaxy, which means that our galaxy possibly has just two major spiral arms, including a central bar that astronomers are only now starting to understand. But where inside this huge spiral arrangement do our sun and its planets exist in? Our galaxy is about 100,000 light-years wide. We’re nearly 25,000 light-years from the midpoint of the Milky Way galaxy. It turns out we’re not situated in one of the Milky Way’s two main spiral arms. Instead, we’re positioned in a minor arm of the galaxy. Our local spiral arm is occasionally Orion Arm, or sometimes the Orion Spur. It’s among the Sagittarius and Perseus Arms of the Milky Way Galaxy. The image below demonstrates it.
Image Credit: R. Hurt on Wikimedia Commons.
Our local Orion Arm of the Milky Way is about 3,500 light years wide. It’s roughly 10,000 light years in length. Our sun, the Earth, and all the other planets in our tiny solar system are located within this Orion Arm. We’re situated close to the internal rim of this spiral arm, about midway along its length.
Image via NASA and Wikimedia Commons.
The spiral Arm in which we live (Orion Arm, or Orion Spur) has other titles as well. It’s sometimes basically called the Local Arm, or the Orion-Cygnus Arm, or the Local Spur. The Orion Arm is termed for the constellation Orion the Hunter, which is one of the maximum projecting constellations of Northern Hemisphere winter. Several of the perkiest stars and most well-known celestial objects of this constellation e.g. Betelgeuse, Rigel, the stars of Orion’s Belt, the Orion Nebula etc., are neighbors of sorts to our sun, situated inside the Orion Arm. That’s the reason we see various bright objects in the constellation Orion, as when we look at it, we’re viewing our own local spiral arm.
(If you find any error or miscalculation in this article then please feel free to share in comment and if you want to expand this article then comment below)
Which Spiral Arm of the Milky Way Do We Live In? Reviewed by Umer Abrar on 6/05/2014 Rating: