--Universe Forum--Our Place In Space--Tour
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The Universe Forum's role as part of NASA's Education Support Network concluded in September, 2009. Please visit NASA at http://nasascience.nasa.gov/ for current information about NASA's science, education, and public outreach activities.

exploring: our place in space > earth

Earth, the home planet.

From Earth, we gaze out on the spectacular "city of stars" that we call our Milky Way galaxy. Only the nearest stars in our galaxy can be seen as individual points of light. The rest are so distant and so numerous that they seem to form a continuous band of light across the sky. Dark splotches hide some of the light; these are immense regions of dust and gas from which new stars are continually born.

Our galaxy is huge: On the scale of the drawing at upper left, the whole solar system -- Earth, Sun, and planets -- would be smaller than an atom!

Top: The view towards the center of our Milky Way galaxy, from the William Herschel Telescope, La Palma. Left: The Earth and its moon orbit our Sun once a year. Where are you in this picture?

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