Science Questions

How do we know the exact position of Earth in the galaxy?

Mon, 24th Oct 2011

Listen Now    Download as mp3 from the show Blue Stragglers and the Polarised Universe

Question

Edward Wright asked:

I am not a scientist, so I hope my questions are not too trifling.

I have wondered for years just how anybody knows where the earth, or even our sun for that matter, is located in the Milky Way. Apparently, the earth is located in an outer spiral arm some distance (many light years) from the centre. And, being as we do not live in a 2-D universe we must be some distance from the top or the bottom of our immediate part of the universe (or spiral arm).

Based on the my belief that even the Hubble telescope is, comparatively speaking, not very high, my question is why is everybody so sure about where we are. And is there some sort of orientation consideration involved?

 

Multimedia

Subscribe Free

Related Content


-
Not working please enable javascript
EPSRC
Powered by UKfast
STFC
Genetics Society
ipDTL