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How to see the Milky Way

How big is the Milky Way Galaxy? The Milky Way Galaxy is our home in the existing Univers, it is a barred spiral galaxy 100,000‐120,000 light-years in diameter containing 200‐400 billion stars and at least as many planets including our solar system. The galactic center is named Sagittarius A and its belived to hold a supermassive black hole with an estimated mass of 4.1‐4.5 million times the mass of our Sun.

Milky Way

Can you see the Milky Way Galaxy from Earth at night with the naked eye?

Yes, in fact, the Milky Way Galaxy is one of the most interesting naked eye sights in the night sky. However, it’s not bright, and it’s not always well placed to be seen. So to see the Milky Way Galaxy from Earth, you will have to meet the following minimum requirements:
‐ Finding a dark clear night sky with no moonlight are the key words here for a best view of the Milky Way in the grand design (you can get an app that will show you the Moon Phases Calendar);
‐ No city lights, no headlights, basically as far as you can from any source of light pollution. You will need to travel far from any city, to a wild area or rural countryside. The best viewing site would be from the middle of the ocean either northern hemisphere or southern hemisphere being so far away from the artificial city lights.
‐ No telescopes, no binoculars, (just eyeglasses if you’re near sighted) and at least one eyeball. TIP: Using binoculars can increase the view experience being able to see other galaxies as Andromeda Galaxy (M31), nebulae and event comets.
‐ Best atmospheric conditions, a misty sky wouldn’t block it completely, nor would humidity. It would make it not as sharp, but still visible.
‐ Give your eyes at least 15-20 minutes to adapt to the darkness though. Your eyes will become more sensitive to low light level.
‐ A little bit of timing in late summer or winter evenings in Northern Hemisphere.

We live in the Milky Way Galaxy, this means that every time we gaze at the night sky we are looking at the Milky Way Galaxy. More exactly the spiral arm closer to the galactic center one part of the year and in the other part we see the near edge of the spiral arm farther from the galactic center. Due to nebula and dust clouds, we can’t see the center of the Milky Way (in visible light) at any time.

Milky Way

What can i see in the Milky Way Galaxy from Earth?

    The summer Milky Way will look brighter in the Northern Hemisphere. Most noticeably you should be able to see the Great Rift in good dark skies. This dark lane in the Milky Way Galaxy between Cygnus and Scutum is where a string of dense interstellar clouds block the view of more distant stars. At longer wavelengths in the infrared, light passes through these clouds more easily and we get a better view of the overall shape of our Galaxy, but there are still enough clouds created a dark reddened lane through the middle of the Milky Way Galaxy.
    The two Magellanic Clouds irregular dwarf galaxies are visible from the Southern Hemisphere which may be orbiting our Milky Way Galaxy.

Milky Way

Light Pollution Map of World: ########


  1. Our Sun and planet are part of the Milky Way Galaxy. So you are looking at and standing in it. Lots of stars in the sky and other galaxies. Yep. San Juan does have high light pollution. A million plus people, It's bright. But the Altantic is very dark and there is a nice star field. The more you get away from the big city the better the sky. Up in the mountains over on culebra or Vieques.

  2. i have seen what you are reffering to from Vieques. i would guess from Culebra too. but the southwest part of vieques is darker i believe.

    you can always hope for a power outtage


  3. Cool..thanks guys!

    I've heard of those nights you are referring to Frank. i hope i can experience one, it would literally make the trip for me.

    i guess a power outage would be good too.. whatever works.. lol

    again, thanks


  4. If you happen to have an Iphone, you may dload an app called "Planets" that will show you in real time the position, direction and time of visibility of the Milky Way , planets, constellations and stars.

    I love astronomy and this is one of my fav apps that allows me to see any celestial body when they are visible in my area.

    But strangely, I'm not so sure about the Milky Way being visible in my area since the app shows it way low and under the horizon on my West sightings at night.

    I've seen the M Way in its full splendor in the Arizona desert but that is a position way up north compared to the one PR is.

    If anyone knows other wise, please enlighten me.

  5. You have to be refering to the center of the Milky Way. As the The Milky Way is the galaxy that contains the Earth. What you would see is a milky band across the sky. Yes for that you need a clear sky and low light pollution. If you can see Sagittarius you hopefully can see it. Much depends on the seasons. It could be in the sky during the day behind the sun or in the night sky. Do a little research and plan on what you can see. I've seen it from Vieques and it was prominent.

  6. I never knew there were so many stars in the sky until I took the boat ride in Guanica's bioluminescent bay in southwest Puerto Rico. It was magnificent to say the least. The stars began at sea level and covered the entire sky. I never knew so many thousands of stars were visible from earth.

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