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# How long in light years is our Galaxy?

Question #21541. Asked by Spock. (Aug 17 02 4:33 PM)

Friar Tuck

The distance that light travels in a year is so large that it is a useful unit of distance in astronomy:

Light Year: the distance that light travels (through a vacuum) in one year (9.46 x (10 to the power of 17) cm).

The nearest star (other than the Sun) is 4.3 light years away.

Our galaxy (the Milky Way) is about 100,000 light years in diameter.

The distance to the galaxy M87 in the Virgo cluster is 50 million light years.

The distance to most distant object seen in the universe is about 18 billion light years (18 x (10 to the power of 9) light years).
http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/guidry/violence/lightspeed.html

 Aug 17 02, 8:11 PM
hummerh3

The Milky Way's dimensions are approximately 100,000 light years in diameter by 2,000 light years in width.

 Mar 08 04, 6:53 PM
hummerh3

Galaxies do not travel, but because space is expanding in all directions, the galaxy is moving along with the space containing it at a rate of about 300 kilometers per second.

 Mar 16 04, 3:02 PM

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