Glide Through the Cosmos to Learn About the Stars and Galaxies

Contributor: Elephango Editors. Lesson ID: 13007

Do you know the sun is actually a star? Or that our galaxy rotates at 150 miles per second? Take the spiral path of the Milky Way to learn about the cosmic energy and the nuclear fusion in the stars!


Space Science and Astronomy

learning style
Auditory, Visual
personality style
Lion, Beaver
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Skill Sharpener

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Think about it — there are over a billion stars in each of about 100 billion galaxies in our cosmos! And that's just an estimate that scientists believe will grow even larger as we discover more about our universe! It is unimaginably enormous.

  • Have you ever thought about how the existence of a star begins or what our own galaxy is called?

Well, let’s strap on our space helmets and explore!

space shuttle cartoon

We've landed in a galaxy — our galaxy to be exact.

  • Would you by any chance know what our galaxy is called?

If you guessed the Milky Way, then you are super-stellar!

  • Can you guess why it's called the Milky Way?

spiral galaxy of stars

The Milky Way is spiral in shape and contains over 100 billion stars. There are so many stars that it actually looks milky.  The Milky Way has a large black hole in the center of it that swallows anything that gets close to the edge.

There are a lot of other galaxies in the universe, and the complex variety and uniqueness of the stars and galaxies of the universe are magnificent. There are so many different types, sizes, and colors of stars in each. Maybe you thought these stars were just little dots in the night sky!

There are galaxies that are elliptical, spiral, and irregular in shape. However, the majority of galaxies are spiral-shaped like the Milky Way. To learn more about the scientific theories behind spiral galaxies, watch the DNews video below.

Why Are Most Galaxies Spiral-Shaped? from Seeker:

  •  When you ponder the existence of the stars, do you wonder why they are present, and why they are here?
  • How do these wonderful illuminators of the night come into existence?

Watch The Life cycle of Stars, from Institute of Physics, to learn more about the theories behind the formation of the stars:

There is no better way to experience the universe than by doing it either first-hand or virtually. Here are some facts about the stars of the cosmos that you may not already know:

  • Although our sun looks yellow to the human eye, sunlight is actually white light and is made of all colors.
  • The most massive stars have the shortest lifespan.
  • Stars live longer than humans do.
  • Stars die by becoming encased by a gas, called planetary nebula, and then eventually shrinking away.
  • There are 275 million stars birthed in the universe every day.

Take an exciting look at the star system, courtesy of's Stunning new Hubble panorama spies 15,000 galaxies site.

Galaxies are the homes of the stars.  Here are some more fascinating facts about galaxies:

  • small galaxy contains less than a billion stars.
  • Thomas Wright formulated our concept of a galaxy in 1917.
  • galactic merger is formed when galaxies merge.
  • According to astronomers' research, there are over 100 billion galaxies.
  • The process of a new star forming in a galaxy at a very fast pace is called a starburst.

Test what you have learned while learning even more with How Much You Know About Galaxy? Trivia Facts Quiz, by Marquart for ProProfs Quizzes.

milky way in our night sky

Learning about the Milky Way is very interesting because it is our galaxy. Here are a few facts to help you savor the atmosphere of the Milky Way:

  • The Milky Way has over 200 billion stars.
  • The black hole at the center of the Milky Way is about 27,340,332 miles. That is about the size of Mercury’s orbit.
  • The Milky Way moves through space at a velocity of 343 miles per second.
  • Inside the Milky Way, there are 100 billion planets.
  • Scientists have named the black hole in the center of the Milky Way Sagittarius A.

Now that you have explored more about the process that goes into the formation of stars and galaxies, let’s travel to the Got It? section to learn some interesting facts about both stars and galaxies.

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