History of the Universe

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Our Location within Milky Way

We live near a star (the Sun) roughly half way out along the flat disc. We live inside this disc. When we look at the night sky we can see a mass of distant stars inside the disc, blurred by the gas or partly hidden by dust clouds in the disc. Seen from Earth, it looks like a faint white milky streak across the sky. It is best seen far away from city lights.

Photograph of Milky Way taken from Earth by ESO/Yuri Beletsky

Distance to centre of Galaxy

How far away is the center of our Galaxy? In the PennySystem model, in which the Solar System is the size of a penny, the galactic center would be about 660 meters from the Sun.

But how did the Sun get here? How are stars "born", how do they "live" and why do they "die", sometimes in spectacular ways?

These are the questions we will answer in the next section.

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