Our sun is one of at least 100 billion stars in the Milky Way, a spiral galaxy about 100,000 light years across. The stars are arranged in a pinwheel pattern with four major arms, and we live about two-thirds of the way up one of them. Many if not most of the stars host their own families of planets. More than a thousand of these extrasolar (or exoplanets) have been discovered and thousands more are awaiting confirmation.
All of the stars in the Milky Way orbit a supermassive black hole at the galaxy’s center, which is estimated to be some 4 million times as massive as our sun. Fortunately, it is a safe distance of around 28,000 light years away Earth. The Milky Way zips along a galactic orbit at an average speed of about 514,000 miles per hour (828,000 km/hr). It takes about 230 million years for our solar system to make one revolution around the galactic center.
From a NASA article, & the Milky Way is but one of MANY galaxies in our universe.
Said better than me so take a look at the Perimeter Institute statement……
Albert Einstein once said, “The important thing is not to stop questioning.” A vital part of the mission of the Perimeter Institute is to respond to and feed this natural human curiosity about the nature of our universe. Perimeter’s Outreach department is committed to sharing the power, joy, and mystery of science with everyone. We aim to make theoretical physics and science research accessible and understandable to a general audience. Our public lecture series continues to be extraordinarily popular. We also offer inspiring interactive scientific, musical, and cultural events as well as online resources.
It is at Waterloo Ontario a little West of here and was financed with funds from Lazarus & Ballsillie of Blackberry fame. The Outreach there is fine for laymen. No need to be adept with math.
“We are on the verge of major discoveries about the universe and its origins. I hope and expect many of those discoveries will be made at Perimeter.”
– Stephen Hawking
Perimeter Institute launches the Centre for the Universe, a global focal point for research into key questions in cosmology. Centre for the Univers
Also, Stephen has donated enough money to the new centre to finance one of the new professors.
Stephen Hawking has set-up equipment to seek for alien life.
(see:Stephen Hawking Aliens Stephen Hawking mission to find alien civilisation detects radio signals coming from dwarf galaxy )
The equipment used is probably the best yet. The results are so far negative and I am not surprised though optomistic in this area.
Keep looking Stephen & Co.
The well known Hubble telescope that has made so many cosmic discoveries is soon to have another called Webb. Both are by NASA.
To watch video see: Link