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.


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.