Do you love to know why our galaxy is called Milky way?
This question definitely comes to the mind of a space lover, why our Galaxy got its name milky way?
Lets come to the answer –
The Milky way is the name of galaxy in which our solar system is located. The word “Milky way” is translation of the classical Latin “via lactea” which means the road of milk. And the word “galaxy” originates from the Greek word “gala“, which means milk.
But even the Latin word “via lactea” is taken from the Greek word “galaxias kyklos” which means ‘milky circle’.
The mythical story of civilizations behind milky way –
1 . There is story in ancient Greek mythology, The God Zeus brought his son Heracles to Hera’s house for breastfeed while she was sleeping. Hera did not like Heracles because the child was half human and half god. Just when Hera woke up, she quickly pushed Heracles away, spilling a few drops of milk into the night sky.
2. In Indian civilization (in Hindu puranas), the Milky way and the river Ganges on the earth were considered to be a pair of each other and both were considered sacred. In ancient Hindu religious texts, the Milky way is called “KSHIR” which is from Sanskrit language, and the meaning of word “KSHIR” is ‘milk’.
3. Persian is a Indo-Iranian language, so there is a word “sheer” for ‘milk’ which is similar to word “Kshir”. Hence in Persian language the word ‘Milky way’ become “RAAH-E-SHEER” which also means ‘road of milk’.
4. Some east Asian civilization saw a river in the ‘Milky way’. So the Chinese named it “silver river” and the ‘Milky way is called “mirinae” which means silver river in Korean.
5. In Germany, the galaxy is called “Milchstrasse” and the Norwegians named is “Melkeveien”.
From Earth, the Milky way appears as a band (as shown in fig.) because its disc-shaped structure from earth. Galileo Galilei was first able to resolved in that band of light into individual stars with his telescope in 1610. But until the Hubble telescope was created, most of astronomers thought that the Milky way contained all the star in the universe.
Until the 1990s scientists used to understand that the dense central part of the galaxy is of a spherical shape, but then they began to suspect that its shape is like a thick pole. Photographs taken from the Spitzer space telescope in 2005 made it clear that his fears were correct: the center of the galaxy actually turned out to be a bar-shape stretched over the sphere.
In a research of 2008, the estimated age of a oldest star named “H7E1583-04901” is 13.2 billion year, so the Milky way is at least as old.
When we look at the dark night sky, we are looking at our galaxy. This scene creates a glowing arc of light that we know as Milky way galaxy.
Some major information about the milky way.
➢ The milky way is second largest galaxy in the local group. Andromeda galaxy hold the first position.
➢ The diameter of the milky way is approximately 170,000-200,000 light-year. And the thickness of disk is approximately 2000 light-years.
➢ Milky way is barred spiral galaxy (ie. The core of this galaxy is bar-shaped.).
➢ Milky way contains 100-400 billion stars.
➢ The mass of milky way is approximately (0.8*10^12) to (1.5*10^12) times mass of our Sun.
Hope you like the content for interesting content like this sign up to our newsletter. Interested about astronomy check our detailed article about blackhole : https://bong-tec.in/2020/06/black-hole-a-cosmic-monster-or-a-wonderful-gift-of-science/