Milky Way. Mosaic of photographs of the Milky Way, the spiral galaxy in which our solar system lies. Our Sun is believed to be around two-thirds of the way out from the centre in a small spiral arm. Galactic Centre lies at the centre of the image in the constellation Sagittarius. This is where the bulge of stars in the Milky Way is at its greatest, tapering away on either side. The image runs around the whole of the sky, so our view away from Galactic Centre is seen both at far left and at far right. Interstellar dust obscures much of the Galaxy's central axis. The Milky Way is thought to be about 120,000 light years across and to contain over 100 billion stars.
Science Photo Library was founded in 1981 by Michael Marten, one of the authors of "Worlds Within Worlds", a book exploring different ways to observe the universe - from electron micrographs, to images of earthrise taken from the Apollo spacecraft. When Marten started receiving requests for the beautiful images in the book, he had an idea of setting up Science Photo Library.
Since then, Science Photo Library has continued to work alongside world acclaimed photographers and the leading science and medical experts to provide a central source of the best science and specialist imagery available. Although the collection started with scientific images, it has grown to encompass all aspects of science and their impact on everyday life.
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