How It Works

Galaxy on the move

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The Sun travels around the galactic centre at 800,000 kilometres per hour, taking 225 million years to make one orbit. Our galaxy rotates differenti­ally, which means that objects closer to its core orbit the core faster than the stars in the arms of the galaxy. The closer objects are to the centre, the less time they take to complete an orbit. The Milky Way rotates at about 210 kilometres per second. Our Solar System, located around 30,000 light years from the galactic core, completes an orbit once every 225 million years. The Milky Way is also moving through space at about 630 kilometres per second relative to the cosmic microwave background – the Big Bang’s remnants. It moves in the direction of a gravitatio­nal anomaly in the universe, the Great Attractor.

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