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The Milky Way Galaxy

The Milky Way is our galactic home, part of the story of how we came to be. Astronomers have learned that it’s a large spiral galaxy, similar to many others, but also different in ways that reflect its unique history. Living inside the Milky Way gives us a close-up view of its structure and contents, which we can’t do for other galaxies. At the same time, this perspective makes it difficult for astronomers to obtain a complete picture of galactic structure. Modern research on the Milky Way refines our understanding of how the galaxy formed and what continues to shape our galactic home.