My best Milky Way picture yet. Towards the top in the center is the Andromeda galaxy, on a direct collision course with ours. I wonder if something there is looking back at us?

Other guy did really well but I would still like to chime in (someone correct me if I am wrong).

The part of the Milky Way that our solar system is on is right between two other spiral arms of the Milky Way. Within that spiral arm (that we are connected to,) we are on an offshoot of that spiral arm that is less dense than the main spiral arm.

I believe what we see here is mostly of the main-band that we are an offshoot of that is covering the Milky Way Center (that giant black bar.) so:

1: We are in a quieter part of the neighborhood. The neighborhood that we are in is a lot less dense (we are like in the middle of the two main bands, where there aren't as many stars and gas cluttered together.)

2: Less bright = we can see more

3: We are facing towards the Milky Way Center.

4: Our solar system's orbit through the Milky Way keeps it safe from the more hostile area (along with Jupiter taking the brunt of most collisions that would head towards the inner planets.)

/r/space Thread Parent Link -