Where are we?

This column does not have a single author, but is submitted by a number of experts that contribute regularly to our news source.  Some are in Canada, some in the UK and one is in the far east

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 We live on a fragile earth and where exactly is that?

Let's be as precise as possible. We are on minor planet in a small solar system moving around a rather ordinary star.  We all know that. 

We are neither too close or too far away from our Sun.

We live in a Galaxy that we named "The Milky Way" an ordinary spiral Galaxy.  Where are we in that?

We live about 30,000 million light years  from the centre. (see above picture) Light  travels at 186,000 miles per second or 300,000 meters per second.  It takes about 8.3  minutes for light to reach us from the Sun.

We live about 15 light years above the plane of the disk of our Galaxy.  We are moving at about 234 kilometers per second in our 'grand orbit' of the core of our Milky Way.

Since the Sun and its planets were created, we've circled the centre of the Galaxy about 27 times.

The Milky Way is about 100,000 Light Years in diameter, but only 1000 light years thick at its widest point.

There are 200 Billion Stars in the Milky Way.  We have sister stars that were created at about the same time as our Sun.  They might be traveling in about the same path as our Sun.

At the core of the Galaxy is a Black Hole eating matter, stars and planets.

We are very ordinary, but our position around the core is crucial as is our position relative to the Sun.

Let's face it, we are puny though in the grand scheme of things.

06/12/2009 05:50 PM

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