Cosmic View: The Universe in 40 Jumps
by Kees Boeke
page 27
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22. Here we have the entire galactic system or galaxy, of which on the previous page we saw only what is now in the small square. Our galaxy is a spiral; it has the shape of a disk from which a number of spiral arms protrude. At the center the disk is much thicker than at the edges, where it is quite thin; the bright shining center bulges out. We see this circular disk partly tilted from the side, so that it looks like an ellipse. In the small square we now recognize in the streak of light a rather irregular spiral arm near which our solar system is situated. Apart from this one, other spiral arms can be seen. Below on the right there is a strange nebulous body. It is the Great Magellanic Cloud, a much smaller galaxy, far behind our own Milky Way. The white spots around the galaxy are the hundred and more globular clusters of stars which surround it.

1 cm. in picture = 1022 cm. = about 10,000 light-years. Scale = 1:1022

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Copyright (C) 1957 by Kees Boeke. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted, or reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photo-copying and recording, or in any information storage and retrieval system, without permission.