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How many stars are there?

How many stars are there?

Our galaxy, called the Milky Way, has hundreds of billions of stars. There are trillions more galaxies in the universe, each containing countless stars. From the Earth, the Milky Way looks like a band of light in then night sky. If you could fly above our galaxy, it would look like a glittering wheel.

Galaxy shapes

The shape of the Milky Way

is called a barred spiral—it

has a bar across its center

that connects the spiral arms.

Galaxies come in different

shapes, such as these below.

A. Spiral 

B. Lenticular

C. Elliptical 

D. Irregular

1.Center of the galaxy

A black hole lies hidden in the center of our

galaxy. It is called a “black” hole because

nothing can escape this point, not even light.

The biggest stars are called supergiants.

2.Solar system

Our solar system contains eight planets,

around 170 moons, and millions of

asteroids and comets. They all orbit

(travel around) the star we call the Sun.

3.Gas clouds

Our galaxy contains

huge clouds of gas.

Stars form in the

gas clouds, lighting

them up.

4.Spiral arm

Our galaxy is a 

spiral shape with 

four major “arms.” 

Stars, gas, and dust 

 are found in these arms.

5.Dust clouds

The dark areas 

between the 

spiral arms 

are clouds of 

dust. These are 

called nebulae.

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