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Jessi and Squeaks explore our home galaxy, The Milky Way!

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Do you like looking up at the night sky?   On clear evenings, there’s nothing Squeaks and I like more than staring at the stars.   If you’ve never done it, you need to try it the next time you stay up late!   Because sometimes, when it’s really, really dark, and you’re far away from the lights of the city, you can see something special.   It looks like a thin, cloudy stripe stretching across the sky.    A long time ago, scientists thought it looked like someone had spilled a bunch of milk up there!   So they called it The Milky Way.   But what is it exactly? And why is the Milky Way milky?   Well, when you look up at the sky at night and see the Milky Way, you’re actually seeing part of the galaxy that we live in.    A galaxy is just a really, really, really big group of stars, and their planets, all hanging out together in space.   Now, the sun is a star, too -- it’s the star that’s closest to Earth. And it’s just one of the many, many stars in our galaxy.   How many stars are there?   Billions!   It’s an eee-normous number!   Even if you started counting right now, and kept counting until you reached a billion, it would take you over 30 years.   And there are MANY billions of stars in the Milky Way!   So, the Milky Way galaxy is huge!   And the sun and the Earth are a part of it.   But, here’s a question for you: How can we see the Milky Way at night, if the sun and Earth are actually in it?   Well, it’s kind of like, if you walk out your front door, and you look one direction, you can see part of of your neighborhood.   But if you look the other direction, you can see another part.   But you can’t see your whole neighborhood from your front door all at once, because your neighborhood is just too big.    But, you can see parts of it, a little bit at a time.   And the same is true for our galaxy.   All of the stars in the Milky Way make a huge, flat spiral -- shaped kind of like a spinning plate -- and the Sun and the Earth sit near the edge of that spiral.   So, sometimes, when we look up at the night sky, we can see some of the far-away stars in the Milky Way that are between us and the edge of that spiral.   And other times, we can see some of the stars between us and the middle of the spiral.   If you want to see the Milky Way for yourself some time, go to a place where there aren’t many houses, or cars, or streetlights -- all of those things have really bright lights, and lights can make it hard to see the stars at night.   When Squeaks and I want to get out of the observatory and look at the stars, we like to go camping.   And you know what camping means? S'mores!   But of course, you’ll need to go on a clear night. Because you can’t see the stars if a bunch of clouds are in the way!   Then just look up until you see the light, milky strand in the middle of the sky!   It’s easiest to see between June and August, because that’s when Earth is facing in toward the middle of the galaxy, which is the brightest part.   But you can see parts of our home galaxy pretty much any time of the year.   Because we live in the Milky Way. So it’s always there!   Thanks for joining us on SciShow Kids, in the Milky Way. See you next time.