The Milky Way: Crash Course Astronomy #37

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Today we’re talking about our galactic neighborhood: The Milky Way. It’s a disk galaxy, a collection of dust, gas, and hundreds of billions of stars, with the Sun located about halfway out from the center. The disk has grand spiral patterns in it, formed by the traffic jams of stars and nebulae, where stars are born. The central region is shaped like a bar, and is mostly old, red stars. There’s also a halo surrounding us of old stars.

Crash Course Astronomy Poster:

Table of Contents
Milky Way Is A Disc 2:54
Grand Spiral Patterns 4:21
The Central Region Is Bar Shaped 7:48
Outer Halo Of Old Stars 9:09

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Milky Way, Artist’s Drawing [credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech]
Joshua Tree [credit: Rogelio Bernal Andreo]
Milky Way Center Region Mosaic [credit: ESO]
New Hubble image of star cluster Messier 15 [credit: NASA, ESA]
Artist’s impression of the Milky Way [credit: ESA/Hubble and M. Kornmesser]
M83 (Hubble Only and Hubble-Subaru-ESO Composite) [credit: Robert Gendler, 8.2 Meter Subaru Telescope (NAOJ), European Southern Observatories, Hubble Legacy Archive]
Hubble’s Largest Galaxy Portrait Offers a New High-Definition View [credit: NASA, ESA, K. Kuntz (JHU), F. Bresolin (University of Hawaii), J. Trauger (Jet Propulsion Lab), J. Mould (NOAO), Y.-H. Chu (University of Illinois, Urbana), and STScI]
NGC 3344 [credit: Adam Block/Mount Lemmon SkyCenter/University of Arizona]
Annotated Milky Way [credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech]
Black hole with corona, X-ray source (artist’s concept) [credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech]
A Galaxy and its Halo [credit: ESA (image by C. Carreau)]
How to Become a Star [credit: ESO]


Vera Vera says:

This series is awesome!

Mofker GT says:

galaxies are black holes huge black holes having stuff spinning around them (ate white chocolate) hoo dini

TheFireflyGrave says:

Since Galaxy translates to 'milky' would it be ok to refer to Galactus as 'The Milk Man?'

Maurício Marques says:


gymnastics cheer says:

hey I'm studying the milky way now, so my teacher told me the middle was a black hole so I that true or not b/c I am very confused.

cyril fiber says:

A french please french subtiles please

Mitzpatrick Fitzsimmons says:

This is a great story… but not possible on a flat earth.

jgroub1 says:

Wait a second here. I thought that one of the things Phil said is actually incorrect. He said that the inside parts of the spiral arms would rotate faster than those further out. In a gravitational sense, this makes sense – just look at our solar system. But observations of other galaxies shows that this isn't so – contrary to expectations, stars in the spiral arms rotate at the same speed regardless of distance, giving birth the the whole dark matter idea. Galaxies are embedded in a halo of dark matter that causes the arms to maintain their structure – not the traffic jam idea that Phil sets forth.

Corner Universe says:

Why is every episode of crash course astronomy mind blowing?

Johnny Dutch says:

What could those 33 people possibly have not liked about this video?

C.I. DeMann says:

I friggin' love this entire series. The best thing Crash Course has done, I say.

VidSheridan says:

"Mapping the galaxy's spiral arms is ongoing work and it's kinda…" I really thought that sentence was going to end with "boring" and an anecdote about how you did it for a summer job.

simon-pierre larochelle says:

So why isn't it Dr. Phil Plait in the credits ?

bevan rogan white says:

I cant believe we named our galaxy the milky way, we need to have a cooler name.

We need to change it to asgard.

TheLivingThombstone AJ says:

Umm how do we take pictures if our Galaxy?

KASASpace says:

Hello Virgo!

Hello Laniakea!

Jcarlos Diaz says:

Thank you Phil for this series this is awesome

Orren Chapman says:

I think this must be at least the second time in this brand new and excellent series where a recent discovery has shown how difficult it is to keep up with developments; what we thought was a region dominated by older stars as Phil describes, has some surprises.

> A group of young stars has been caught loitering near the center of the Milky Way galaxy, a region previously thought to be dominated by a more mature population. Astronomers say the stars form a disk (previously unknown to scientists) that passes through the outer part of the dusty, peanut-shaped bulge at the galactic center.

Aaron Baum says:

6:02 Disturbance in the disk? Or a Disturbance in the force….. Of course disturbance in the force just sounds cooler.

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