Galaxies and Their Sizes

  • Exhibition Text

    • We live in the Milky Way Galaxy, a disk-shaped galaxy roughly a hundred thousand light-years across and two thousand light-years thick.  The smallest dwarf galaxies are a few percent of that size. The largest galaxies, found at the centers of galaxy clusters, are more than ten times larger than the Milky Way.

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  • For Educators

    • Topic: Astronomy

      Subtopic: Galaxies

      Keywords: Astrophysics, Size, Milky Way, Universe, Ratio and proportion

      Audience: General

In This Section

Milky Way Galaxy

Milky Way Galaxy

If the Hayden Sphere is the size of the Local Group of galaxies, then this model is the relative size of the Milky Way Galaxy.

Messier 87

Messier 87

If the Hayden Sphere is the size of the Local Group of galaxies, then this model is the relative size of Messier 87.

Messier 101

Messier 101

If the Hayden Sphere is the size of the Local Group of galaxies, then this model is the relative size of Messier 101.

NGC 1365

NGC 1365

If the Hayden Sphere is the size of the Local Group of galaxies, then this model is the relative size of NGC 1365.

Messier 80

Messier 80

If the Hayden Sphere is the size of the Milky Way Galaxy, then this model is the relative size of the globular star cluster Messier 80.

Oort Cloud

Oort Cloud

If the Hayden Sphere is the size of the globular star cluster Messier 80, then this model is the relative size of the Oort Cloud of comets.

Kuiper Belt

Kuiper Belt

If the Hayden Sphere is the size of the Oort Cloud of comets, then this model is the relative size of the Kuiper Belt of comets.

Rigel

Rigel

If the Hayden Sphere is the size of the Kuiper Belt of comets, then this model is the relative size of blue supergiant star Rigel.