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Q&A: General Astronomy and Space Science

Q:
At what distance, position and angle are we from the galactic plane?

A:
We're actually sitting in the galactic plane, orbiting at a radius of about 8 kiloparsecs, or 26,000 light years from the center of the galaxy.

For a nice drawing of the Milky Way galaxy and our position in it, see this website:
http://www.ras.ucalgary.ca/CGPS/where/plan/
And we have some additional illustrations at
http://chandra.harvard.edu/resources/illustrations/milkyWay.html

The Chandra web pages have a helpful discussion of galactic coordinates:
http://chandra.harvard.edu/xray_astro/navigation.html

and beautiful images of the galactic center, in X-ray and other wavelengths:
http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2002/gcenter/more.html

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