A Requirement for Life? Our Solar System’s Orbit Through the Milky Way (Weekend Feature)

Milky Way

 

In 1999 astronomers focusing on a star at the center of the Milky Way, measured precisely how long it takes the sun to complete one orbit (a galactic year) of our home galaxy: 226 million years, bobbing our fraught journey through the disc of the Milky Way, drifting through ghostly spiral arms and the darkness of dense nebulae, keeping a constant 30,000 light years between Earth and the violent galactic core. The last time the sun was at that exact spot of its galactic orbit,  Tyrannosaurus rex ruled the Earth.

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Orion Molecular Cloud in Infrared -“A Vast Star-Creation Region”

Orion in Infrared

 

Capable of producing tens of thousands of Suns –At 1350 light years away in the interstellar medium (ISM), Orion A is the nearest mega star factory. Along with its sibling, Orion B, the cloud makes up the Orion Molecular Cloud Complex, a vast star-forming region within the constellation of Orion.

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