Milky Way Galaxy

   Our Sun is one of the stars in a great star city, or galaxy. There are about 200,000 million stars in this galaxy. All the separate stars we see when we look up at the sky are in this great star city.
   Our star city is often called the Milky Way Galaxy. It gets its name from the hazy band of light called the Milky Way.
   The Milky Way can be seen most easily on clear, moonless nights in midsummer or midwinter. The Mexicans call it by a name which means "the little white sister of the many-colored rainbow."
   The people of long ago made up many stories to explain how this band of light happened to be in the sky. The early Greeks believed that it was dust stirred up by the hero Perseus as he rushed across the sky after he had killed Medusa, the terrible Gorgon who had snakes for hair.
   Now we know that the Milky Way is starlight. It is light from billions and billions of stars, most of which are too far away to be seen as separate stars.
   Our star city is shaped like a bun much flattened around the edges. There are many more stars between the sun and the edge of the "bun" than there are between the Sun and either the "top" or the "bottom" of the "bun." When a person sees the Milky Way he is looking toward the rim of the star city.