Milky Way Galaxy

You go outside on a warm summer night, look to the south and see a tall column of stars. It is the “Milky Way,” our galaxy.  It is the largest structure in space of which we are a part.  Everything is still and quiet.  You feel you are standing still, but you are very much in motion in space and time.  How much?

In the United States Earth we are turning to the east, at about 700 miles per hour, but we are flying around the sun 93 million miles away covering an orbit that is 93 x 2 x 3.14 = 584 million miles in 365.25 days or 548,000,000/365.25 = 1,599,014 miles/day or 66.6 thousand miles/hour, but then you recall reading our solar system is in the Milky Way galaxy and spinning around it much in the way we are flying around the sun.

At this point the numbers are so large we switch to the number system called “Scientific Notation.”  It reduces very large numbers to a set of easily manipulated digits like one million, 1,000,000 is 1 x 10^6 or one billion, 1,000,000,000 is 1 x 10^9.  If we have 2.5 billion that is 2.5 x 10^9 and multiplying it by one thousand would be: 2.5 x 10^9 x 1.0 x 10^3 = 2.5 x 10^12 as we multiply the units and add the exponents of the tens to get the zeros for 2.5 trillion, in this example.

Astronomers say the Milky Way has a diameter of 180,000 light years, thus a 90,000 light year radius and we are 26,000 light years out from the center, which is thought to be a “black hole” but it is also a radio source outputting a signal from where none should be coming, which puts the “black hole” idea into question.  Science is never “settled.”  Only idiots and liars say so.

The Milky Way rotates once every 240 million years.  Earth is 4.5 billion years old, so we have done 4.5 x 10^9/2.4 x 10^8 = 1.87 x 10^1 or 18.7 laps around our galaxy in all our time.  The universe is 13.5 billion years old, so we came from dust and stuff.

We see the disk of our galaxy at right angles, so we are going around it like a bullet, spinning in space.  Spin is a frame of reference.  We have Earth spin, Solar system spin and Milky Way spin plus Galactic velocity ostensibly a straight line from the site of the Big Bang, but there is an hypothesis that all of space is curved and be that true we in yet another circle!  Spin is an important, observed quality in quantum mechanics so it is very likely equally critical in the starry universe.

Our velocity in the galaxy is (26,000 light years x 3.14)/ 240 x 10^6 years = 8.18 x 10^4 light year/year or divided by 8760 hours/year is 9.33 light yr/hour or 5.86 x 10^12 miles/hour, 586 trillion miles per hour which means we are not solid, particulate matter but waves as everything we accelerate to even a fraction of that speed no longer exists as a particle, but is only detected as waves!

To appreciate the significance of this idea, understand we are more like the images on our television screens in their two dimensions, but in our three, or four, if you include time.  Quantum mechanics math suggests we are actually in an 11 dimension universe, but this is yet hypothetical. In any case, it seems fair to say we are only images. Who is writing the script for our journey through the Milky Way Galaxy?

Adrian Vance

Adrian Vance is a writer and producer of educational films, filmstrips and audio programs with over 325 productions from script to screen. See a partial list of my credits at . And, have written for ten national magazines, been on the masthead of two as an Editor, done a dozen books and am an FCC licensed broadcaster with ten years of on-air experience in radio and television. See my blog, "The Two Minute Conservative" at where you will find over 3200 daily pieces, enough material to produce 25 novel length books.

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