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Slices through the SDSS 3-dimensional map of the distribution of galaxies. Earth is at the center, and each point represents a galaxy, typically containing about 100 billion stars. Galaxies are colored according to the ages of their stars, with the redder, more strongly clustered points showing galaxies that are made of older stars.
This map is a plot of all the stars visible with the naked eye. There are approximately 9000 stars visible with the naked eye.
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The Milky Way is the galaxy that contains our Solar System . [ 11 ] [ 12 ] [ 13 ] [ nb 1 ] This name derives from its appearance as a dim "milky" glowing band arching across the night sky, in which the naked eye cannot distinguish individual stars.
Most of the 70 Messier objects which are not galaxies are part or member of the Milky Way galaxy of some kind; the only probable exception being globular cluster M54 which belongs to the nearest neighbor galaxy, SagDEG .
The Orion Nebula (also known as Messier 42 , M42 , or NGC 1976 ) is a diffuse nebula situated south [b] of Orion's Belt in the constellation of Orion . It is one of the brightest nebulae , and is visible to the naked eye in the night sky. M42 is located at a distance of 1,344 ± 20 light years [ 3 ] [ 6 ] and is the closest region of massive star formation to Earth .
The Trapezium , or Orion Trapezium Cluster , is a tight open cluster of stars in the heart of the Orion Nebula , in the constellation of Orion .
2 January 2013: Astronomers state that the Milky Way Galaxy may contain as many as 400 billion exoplanets, with almost every star hosting at least one planet. [ 1 ] [ 2 ] [ 3 ]
The Galactic Coordinate System
A galactic quadrant , or quadrant of the galaxy , refers to one of four circular sectors in the division of the Milky Way galaxy.
Artist's depiction of the Milky Way galaxy, showing the galactic longitude relative to the galactic center .