The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy with a diameter between 150,000 and 200,000 light-years (ly). It is estimated to contain 100–400 billion stars and more than 100 billion planets. The Solar System is located at a radius of 26,490 (± 100) light-years from the Galactic Center, on the inner edge of the Orion Arm, one of the spiral-shaped concentrations of gas and dust.

The stars in the innermost 10,000 light-years form a bulge and one or more bars that radiate from the bulge.

The galactic center is an intense radio source known as Sagittarius A*, assumed to be a supermassive black hole of 4.100 (± 0.034) million solar masses.

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