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Is our solar system within the Milky Way band that we see overhead on a clear night?

Edmund Walendowski, Charlottesville, Virginia
RELATED TOPICS: MILKY WAY
Milky Way's center
Yes. Our solar system lies just above the Milky Way disk midplane. The bright band that we can see on a clear night is the disk of our home galaxy, and we are inside it. The brightness comes from the fact that most stars are in this disk. However, it also contains gas and dust from which stars form. Unfortunately, this material blocks our view in some wavelengths, especially in the visible band. In this sense, the development of infrared detectors in recent decades has boosted our knowledge of the galactic structure.

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