Milky Way Galaxy- Ways To Find It From Your Backyard


A big part of the excitement of stargazing is the description of the galaxies and nebulae. Some are subtle and difficult to view, while others come at you in full blast. How do you know what to look for and how can you spot them from your backyard? A galaxy is a collection of stars and other objects that form together to form the Milky Way Galaxy. When these objects get close together, they collapse into a star, in this case, the sun. When stars go supernova, more matter is created and the process begins all over again. The result is a galactic cluster.

These things can take a whole lot of time and work to make. We have been observing the cosmos for billions of years and observing galaxies in detail has only been around for a few centuries. Since so much time has passed, astronomers have had to be really careful about how they describe the detail of the galaxy.

Ways To Find Milky Way Galaxy

In the past, it was much easier to describe the galaxy’s surface because there were so many objects that could be imaged. They could take several images, take the results of various mathematical computations, and then look at the images together. Its name is the Galactic Center Survey.

Milky Way Galaxy- Ways To Find It From Your Backyard
Milky Way Galaxy- Ways To Find It From Your Backyard

Nowadays, things have changed and astronomers have to make more educated guesses as to how the galaxy will appear from their images. To be more accurate, astronomers must take images of the same galaxy at different distances from the center, which is called Doppler velocity. If the two images are not in alignment then the galaxy will be stretched.

After determining the distance of the galaxy, astronomers use the Doppler velocity to determine the shape of the galaxy. It is very important to first determine the shape. Because the shape will tell you about the extent of the galaxy. And it can also be used to look at its rotation. If the rotation is almost parallel to the galaxy’s surface, then the galaxy has a spiral shape, but if the rotation is counterclockwise or clockwise, then it has a wavy shape.

Categories Of Milky Way galaxy

A galaxy can be of any shape, but for a Milky Way, there are three main categories of galaxies: elliptical, polygonal, and irregular. Within each category, there are subcategories and many of them have planetary nebulae.

Within an elliptical galaxy, a good example is the Small Magellanic Cloud. This galaxy is very common and many stars orbit it. For the most part, it is circular and very close to the Milky Way.

On the other hand, the most unusual of the bunch is the irregularly shaped galaxy – the “Whirlpool Galaxy.” The group of this galaxy is too large to be contained within a single photograph. Many astronomers believe that this one-sided galaxy should be classified in a different category and be called the Extra-Galactic Group.

Unusually shaped irregular galaxies will always show a close grouping of stars. Other than that, the rest of the galaxy is fuzzy. One group of this type is the Large Magellanic Cloud.

Milky Way Galaxy- Ways To Find It From Your Backyard
Milky Way Galaxy- Ways To Find It From Your Backyard

The Irish

The Iris is the brightest star in the constellation Orion. Unlike the other groups, the Iris is not curved. Instead, it is an oval shape, with a bright point on the outside. Many astronomers think that this one galaxy should be classified as a large elliptical galaxy.

So, how do you spot the galaxy you are looking for? The best way is to imagine that you are in a tunnel and your eyes are focused on the bottom of the tunnel. You’re going to see objects on the lower portion of the tunnel, then you go higher, and farther and higher until you reach the ceiling of the tunnel.

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