What's the longest movie ever invented?

While television and web series run for weeks together (divided into 30 to 40 minute-long episodes), films are usually no longer than two hours. However, Swedish filmmakers Erika Magnusson and Daniel Andersson challenged this practice in their film by making it 857 hours long. Imagine sitting through such a long film!

What's it about

An experimental film, "Logistics" lacks any conventional structure. It follows the life cycle of a pedometer, a tiny plastic electronic device used by people to count their steps and monitor their pulse rate. The film follows the pedometer's journey in reverse chronological order. It begins at a store in Stockholm, where the pedometer is sold and then traces it back to a factory in China's Bao'an distict, where it was manufactured.

What makes it special?

The film is shot in real time over 37 days and 37 nights, nonstop. This helps the viewers understand the actual time and distance taken by the product to reach from China to Sweden.

To get a first-hand experience, the filmmakers travelled with the product as it made its way aboard a large container ship going from Sweden to China, a freight train to the port of Gothenburg, then a truck to the port of Shenzhen and a factory in Bao'an.

It offers a peek into the realities of online shopping and global logistics. The film was exhibited in Stockholm in 2012.

Since it would be difficult to sit through such a long film, "Logistics" has been broken down into short, two-minute clips - one for each day of the journey on its website. You can watch it on logisticsartproject.com.

Did you know?

Longest films in the world

  • "Ambiance": Another Swedish film "Ambiance", which was scheduled to release in 2020, is 720 hours long, which is equivalent to a whopping 30 days. The film's trailer, which came out in April 2016, was seven hours and twenty minutes long!
  • "Hamlet": Kenneth Branagh's "Hamlet" released in 1996 lasts 242 minutes.
  • "Cleopatra": Joseph L. Mankiewicz's 1963 film "Cleopatra" is 248 minutes long.

Longest films in India

  • "Doon School Quintet" is a documentary series created by American visual anthropologist. It has a runtime of more than eight hours (494 minutes)
  • "Czechmate", a documentary by Shivendra Singh Dungarpur runs for 448 minutes (roughly seven and a half hours.)
  • "LOC Kargil": The 2003 film "LOC Kargil", based on the Kargil War and directed by J.P. Dutta is four hours and fifteen minutes long.

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Which is the longest running play?

Compared to films and television series, plays are usually not that popular today. However, there is one play that's an exception to this. Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap" has been playing for the last 68 years. It is considered to be the longest running play - it opened in 1952 and ran till March 16, 2020, when all theatres were shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What's it about

"The Mousetrap" is a murder mystery set in "the present", which refers to postwar England (since the play came out during that time). It revolves around a murder near Monkswell Manor, a newly opened bed and breakfast. All of the guests harbour a secret and fit the description of the culprit.

It was written by Christie as a short radio play for Queen Mary's birthday. Titled "Three Blind Mice starring Barry Morse", it was first broadcast in May 1947. Later it was renamed and performed on the stage for the first time as "The Mousetrap" at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham in the U.K. on October 6, 1952.

In the long run

A few weeks later, it moved to the Ambassadors Theatre in West End London on November 25, 1952, where it continued to be performed for the next 22 years. Because of its soaring popularity, it transferred to the larger St Martin's Theatre, next door in 1974. The London run is said to have exceeded 28,000 performances. And, even Christie did not expect "The Mousetrap" to run for such a long time, according to her biography.

What makes it special?

Before the COVID-19 pandemic watching "The Mousetrap" had become a sort of ritual among many tourists visiting London. The original cast included some of the finest English actors such as Richard Attenborough (of the "Jurassic Park" fame), Mysie Monte and David Raven.

What keeps the audience hooked is the whodunnit plot and the twist in the tale. In fact, the performers are known to request the audience not to reveal the ending to those who have not watched it.

Interestingly, the clock on the mantle piece of the fireplace, one of the props on the stage, is the same one that has been used since the very first performance and has survived over the years.


  • During the Diamond Anniversary year of "The Mousetrap a touring production visited regional theatres for the first time in its history, whilst the London nun continued uninterrupted.
  • Christie gave the rights to the play to her grandson Mathew Prichard as a birthday present. Under the copyright, only one production of the play in addition to the West End production can be performed annually. What's more no film adaptation can be produced until the West End production has been closed for at least six months.

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What is the career in the field of lexicography?

If you are a stickler for grammar and love looking up words in the dictionary, the field of lexicography could be your calling. Language is constantly evolving. Thousands of new words and usages are added to the dictionary every year. During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic alone, the Oxford English Dictionary had to update itself five times to accommodate new words and terms that became associated with our new normal.

And it is the lexicographers who find new words and do their best to represent them in the dictionary. So, if you have an unquenchable thirst for words and like to study their etymology, read on to find what the field holds…

How it works

Putting together a dictionary is a collaborative work. The primary job of a lexicographer is to research new words and define them. After drafting the definition, the cross-reference editor checks the work to ensures that all other relevant entries are addressed. The pronunciation editor represents the word phonetically, while the etymologist traces it historical origins. The entry is then copy-edited and proof-read before being added to the hallowed pages of the dictionary.

What are the job prospects?

Lexicographers usually work with publishing houses. They can start their career as assistant editor or junior of editorial assistant, and after gaining publishing experience they can progress to the role of editor or lexicographer. Some publishing houses offer on-the-job training to beginners in the field for making online dictionaries and e-books. With this, one can acquire knowledge about various specialist software packages and databases used in lexicography. Lexicographers work on different types of dictionaries, including bilingual/ translation, multilingual, educational, historical, biographical, geographical, special dictionaries, etc. The roles and responsibilities of lexicographers vary with the type of dictionaries they work for.

What to study

Working as a lexicographer doesn’t require any specific degree, the field is open to people from varied educational backgrounds, as long as they have good writing skills. For instance, people with a science background can work as science editors; law experts can help with legal terminology, and so on. However, there are not many universities in India and abroad that offer dedicated courses in Lexicography. The subject is often taught as part of Linguistics


  • Delhi University and Deccan College, Pune: Master of Arts (M.A.) in Linguistics


  • Universite de Lorraine, France: Master in Lexicography
  • University of Oxford, the U.K.: Master of Philosophy (M. Phil.) in Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics
  • University of Cambridge, the U.K.: M. Phil. In Theoretical and Applied Linguistics
  • University of Wolverhampton, the U.K.: Master’s in Practical Corpus Linguistics for ELT, Lexicography, and Translation
  • Birmingham University, the U.K.: M.A. Applied Linguistics
  • Friedrich-Alexander University, Nuremberg, Germany: M.A. Lexicography

Did you know?

  • At the strat of his career J.R.R. Tolkien worked as a lexicographer with the Oxford English Dictionary in 1919, Tolkein worked on words beginning with the letter W, including the waggle, walnut, walrus, and wampum. Because of his love and knowledge of ancient languages, Tolkein was assigned words with especially difficult etymologies.
  • Years later after he wrote his seminal “The Lord of the Rings” series, Tolkein contributed the word ‘hobbit’ to the dictionary. In fact, the lexicographer working on the entry consulted with Tolkein over its definition and Tolkein wrote it down for him.

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What is interpreter career?

Being fluent in at least two languages, an interpreter listens to a speaker in one language and repeats what has been said, for someone else, in a second language.

What's this career about?

Interpreters work with live speech. They usually work either as guides and escorts or as conference or court interpreters. Often, they also use their knowledge of cultural backgrounds to read and interpret the meaning of gestures and other non-verbal cues such as body language in order to convey the full intended meaning of the communication.

Foreign Language Interpreters usually specialize in a particular language and may also specialize in a particular subject area, such as the legal, medical, technical or welfare fields. They may interpret consecutively, waiting for the speaker to pause to translate what has been said, or simultaneously, in which case they translate continuously while the speaker is talking.

The latter is a more difficult type of interpreting, but it is required of court and international conference interpreters. It requires such an intuitive knowledge of the source language and the subject matter that the interpreter must be able to anticipate what the speaker will say as well as have the ability to talk and listen at the same time.

Court Interpreters interpret simultaneously except when the non-English speaking person is on the stand testifying, in which case they interpret consecutively.

Sign language Interpreters provide translation between spoken and sign language communication. The job of sign language Interpreters is very similar to the job of foreign language Interpreters. In sign language interpreting, however, the hands rather than a foreign language are used to communicate. Sign language Interpreters translate a speaker's words into sign language, using their hands, fingers, and facial expressions. They also repeat the deaf person's signed response to the speaker.

Interpreters must be proficient in both the languages. In addition, they should be well-versed with the culture of that country. Keeping up to date with current developments in English, the foreign language and specialist terminology is also important. They must have a high degree of fluency in the languages they translate and an understanding of the subject matter. In addition they should have excellent research and public speaking skills.

How do I get there?

After 10+2 in any stream, you may join a three-year graduate (B.A.) degree course or pursue a five-year integrated language course in a university. Some universities also run diploma or certificate courses for graduates and post-graduates. An acquaintance with a foreign language is always advisable for joining this field.

Otherwise, you can learn a foreign language of your choice at institutes run by embassies or consulates of foreign countries. These organizations conduct basic to advanced part-time courses which can be undertaken along with your regular studies.

What key skills do I need?

  • Knowledge of the general subject of the speeches that are to be interpreted.
  • Extensive vocabulary in both languages.
  • Ability to express thoughts clearly and concisely in both languages.
  • General erudition and intimate familiarity with both cultures.
  • Excellent note-taking technique for consecutive interpreting.
  • Initiative and research skills.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and work accurately and objectively.
  • Good powers of concentration.
  • High memory retention.
  • Must adhere to the code of ethics.


  • Annamalai University, Annamalai Nagar
  • Alliance Francaise centres for French
  • Bangalore University, Bengaluru
  • Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
  • Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore
  • The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad,
  • Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kochi
  • Institute of the Russian Language of the Russian Centre of Science and Culture, New Delhi
  • Dakshin Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha, Chennai
  • Indo Italian Chamber of Commerce, for Italian
  • Indo-Japan Association in Mumbai for Japanese
  • Kendriya Hindi Sansthan, Agra
  • Max Mueller Bhavan located in important cities for German
  • School of Language, Literature and Cultural Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
  • Instituto Hispania-Spanish Language & Cultural Centre for Spanish
  • JN Academy of Languages, New Delhi

Pay package

Interpreters usually work under short-term contracts or freelance and work for different employers under different arrangements. Freelance assignments may range from a few days for a typical conference to several weeks for some escort assignments.

Freelance interpreters are usually paid by the hour. For common Indian and foreign languages, the rates vary from 200-400 per hour, but it may go up to 750-1000 per hour for complex languages, such as Arabic and Japanese.

Employment profile

The need for language professionals has grown dramatically due to the globalization in general and the liberalization of the Indian economy, the onslaught of IT, entry of MNCs, increased foreign tourists and a host of other factors. Internet has further removed the barriers between countries. A parallel development has been the growing interest in Indian languages as well. However, most positions are located in metropolitan cities.

These language experts are employed by the Government departments, radio and television stations, news services and publishing firms, Embassies & Diplomatic Missions, Cultural Organizations, Educational Organizations, Corporate houses (especially MNC's), Export houses and Travel & Tourism Industry.

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I feel ignored and depressed!

I love a boy in my class and he also loves me. We are in a relationship since the past two years. Everything was good for some time, but since the past one year he has changed a lot. I feel ignored sometimes. He always makes excuses for everything. I am so addicted to him that I want to spend most of my time with him, but he is always busy doing some work. I feel ignored and depressed.

It seems your boyfriend’s lack of attention to you, and his excuses make you feel hurt and rejected. If you’re so addicted to him that you want to spend most of your time with him’, then it looks like you need him more than he needs you. If you are being so clingy, it can make your partner feel suffocated.

From what you say, he seems to be avoiding you. Perhaps something is bothering him or has put him off; or his priorities have changed; or he is no longer interested in you. Either way, it seems that he isn’t telling you what is bothering him, so it is best to ask him directly. Say that you have observed that he avoids spending time with you, making some excuse or other. Be encouraging and open to listening even if what he says is not what you want to hear. If he is still interested, discuss what changes you both need to make in order to make your relationship better.

For a healthy relationship, you both need to be yourself and feel good about yourself that you are not dependant on or ‘addicted’ to your partner. Develop your personality and interests; have your own friends as well as common friends’ have your own interests even as you share some interests will each other. Focus on becoming a well-rounder personality. This will help to change the quality of your relationships.

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I wonder whether she is my true friend!

I have a best friend. She tells me all her secrets and even I do as she is very trustworthy. But if I tell her that she should nods and spoils it instead. When I talk to some other friends of mine, she feels jealous; she wants me to be with her always. I love one Chinese actor but she discourages me. She doesn’t complete her assignments and doesn’t come to school on important exam days. All this is happening since the past two days. Even our teachers, family and friends tell me that she takes things for granted. Is she my true friend or not?

Looks like you both are pointing fingers at each other, trying to boss each other and change each other; and this is making both of you resentful.

Each person is different – in thoughts, feelings and actions. Each person makes his/her own choices and is responsible for the consequences of these choices. Each one has to learn to decide what is good for him/her and what is not. Asking someone to change and do things – perhaps the way you think is right – can make him/her feel that you don’t accept him/her for who he/she is, and this can spoil the relationship. Also, telling someone to change will not make the other person take steps to change unless he/she wants to choose.

While you do care for your friend, you can only express your concern to her and perhaps make suggestions. It is up to her whether she wants to take your suggestions or not, and you have to respect that. Focus on enjoying your life, while keeping your friendships, too. I’m sure there are still things you both can enjoy together without getting in each other’s hair!

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I’m not sure about my best friend’s friendship

I’m insecure about my best friend’s friendship with me. She is my best friend, but she has hostel and college friends, too, who are very close to her; they share everything with each other. She also shares with me all things but she doesn’t talk to me the way she talks to them. We’ve been friends since Std XII.

Looks like you’re feeling insecure that your best friend appears to be closer to her hostel and college friends than to you, and this is making you jealous.

Each relationship is unique. Instead of comparing the relationship your friend shares with you, with the one she shares with her college/hostel mates, focus on the quantity of your friendship with each other.

Accept that her college and hostel friends are dear to her and their bond is also because they live together, so are you dear to her, only in a different way. Even though your friend has “moved” away, she has kept in touch with you. Her friends might be even admiring the long standing bond between the two of you!

Focus on deepening your bond with her: What do you love the most about her and the bond you share? What moments together have brought you joy? What would you like to do more with her? What would you like to change that will make your friendship more satisfying for both of you? Also focus on deepening other friendships. Relationships enrich our lives, and as we grow older, we usually let go of the idea of a ‘best friend’ and build more than one close relationship.

If you look at your friendship glass as half full, you won’t enjoy the refreshing flavor of the friendship drink that is actually present in your glass, and you will be ever thirsty. Instead, say “cheers” to a long-standing friendship!

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What is the name of the Russian Venus programme which sent probes to the planet between 1961 and 1984?

 The Venera program was the name given to a series of space probes developed by the Soviet Union between 1961 and 1984 to gather information about the planet Venus. Ten probes successfully landed on the surface of the planet, including the two Vega program and Venera-Halley probes, while thirteen probes successfully entered the Venusian atmosphere. Due to the extreme surface conditions on Venus, the probes could only survive for a short period on the surface, with times ranging from 23 minutes to two hours.

The first Soviet attempt at a flyby probe to Venus was launched on 4 February 1961, but failed to leave Earth orbit. In keeping with the Soviet policy at that time of not announcing details of failed missions, the launch was announced under the name Tyazhely Sputnik ("Heavy Satellite"). It is also known as Venera 1VA.

As with some of the Soviet Union's other planetary probes, the later versions were launched in pairs with a second vehicle launched soon after the first.

The VeGa probes to Venus and comet 1/P Halley launched in 1984 also used this basic Venera design, including landers but also atmospheric balloons which relayed data for about two days. "VeGa" is an agglutination of the words "Venera" (Venus in Russian) and "Gallei" (Halley in Russian).


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Why is Venus called Earth’s sister?

Venus is sometimes called Earth's twin because Venus and Earth are almost the same size, have about the same mass (they weigh about the same), and have a very similar composition (are made of the same material). They are also neighboring planets. However, Venus and Earth are also very different. Venus has an atmosphere that is about 100 times thicker than Earth's and has surface temperatures that are extremely hot. Venus does not have life or water oceans like Earth does. Venus also rotates backwards compared to Earth and the other planets.

Venus is shrouded with a thick, dense atmosphere, far thicker than our own. On Earth, our atmosphere is thick enough to produce a significant amount of pressure on the surface, but our planet is not totally cloud-covered. Our Earth-monitoring satellites are regularly able to see the ground from space, without the interference of the clouds. There’s no such break in the clouds on Venus. Venus is permanently clouded over, and its atmosphere is so thick that the surface pressure on Venus is 92 times the pressure here on Earth. An unshielded human would fare very badly in this environment.

There is another similarity between the Earth and Venus, though not one that makes Venus a more hospitable place to go visit: both planets have volcanoes. Because Venus is so hot and the pressures are so great, the volcanoes on Venus’ surface aren’t quite as vertically imposing as they can be on Earth.

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Why is Venus hotter than Mercury even though it is farther away from the Sun?

Venus is hotter than Mercury because it has a much thicker atmosphere. The atmosphere, the gaseous layer surrounding a planet, is like a blanket. Think of two people sitting next to a campfire one is much closer to the fire while another is further away. The one that is closer doesn't have a blanket (Mercury), while the other further away has a sleeping bag (Venus). Both persons are getting heat from the fire but the person with the sleeping bag keeps all the heat he or she gets. Mercury is closer but because it has a very thin or no atmosphere at all the heat goes out into space. Venus on the other hand with it's much thicker atmosphere holds all the heat it gets. The heat the atmosphere traps is called the greenhouse effect. If Venus did not have an atmosphere the surface would be -128 degrees Fahrenheit much colder than 333 degrees Fahrenheit, the average temperature of Mercury.

Consider our own planet. When you stand at sea level on Earth, you’re experiencing one atmosphere of pressure. But if you could stand on the surface of Venus – and trust me, you don’t want to – you’d experience ninety-two times as much atmospheric pressure. This is the same kind of pressure as being a kilometer underneath the surface of the ocean.

Venus also shows us what happens when carbon dioxide levels just keep on rising. Radiation from the Sun is absorbed by the planet, and the infrared heat emitted is trapped by the carbon dioxide, which creates a runaway greenhouse effect.

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What did scientists find in the clouds of Venus last year?

In late 2020, scientists studying the atmosphere of Venus announced the surprising – and controversial – discovery of phosphine, a chemical that, on Earth, is produced primarily by living organisms. Then – in March 2021 – a study from Rakesh Mogul of Cal Poly Pomona supported the original finding of phosphine and went further. It suggested that other “biologically relevant chemicals” in Venus’ atmosphere appear to be in a state of disequilibrium: another hallmark of life.

Venus, a world with a reputation for being hot and hellish, just became one of the most intriguing—and closest—spots in the universe for investigating the question of whether life exists beyond Earth. A NASA rover is currently on its way to Mars to look for signs of life, but the robot is designed to find long-dead microbes, preserved in the rusty soil for billions of years. The phosphine discovery presents the tantalizing possibility that life might be on Venus right now. If this discovery is confirmed, which will likely require sending a spacecraft, we would know for the first time in human history that the solar system has two planets where life exists. In a cosmic sense, we wouldn’t be alone anymore.

Venus is a notoriously inhospitable planet, where surface temperatures hover around 860 degrees Fahrenheit (460 Celsius). Travel high into the atmosphere, where it’s cooler, and you’ll find more bearable, even comfortable, temperatures, closer to what we experience on Earth. This is where the telescopes detected the signature of phosphine. But Venus’s atmosphere is so acidic, with clouds made of droplets of sulfuric acid, that any phosphine would be quickly zapped. For the gas to stick around, something must replenish the supply.

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Which two astronomers came up with the classification of galaxies?

Galaxy morphological classification is a system used by astronomers to divide galaxies into groups based on their visual appearance. There are several schemes in use by which galaxies can be classified according to their morphologies, the most famous being the Hubble sequence, devised by Edwin Hubble and later expanded by Gérard de Vaucouleurs and Allan Sandage. However, galaxy classification and morphology are now largely done using computational methods and physical morphology.

The Hubble sequence is a morphological classification scheme for galaxies invented by Edwin Hubble in 1926. It is often known colloquially as the “Hubble tuning-fork” because of the shape in which it is traditionally represented. Hubble's scheme divides galaxies into three broad classes based on their visual appearance.

The de Vaucouleurs system for classifying galaxies is a widely used extension to the Hubble sequence, first described by Gérard de Vaucouleurs in 1959. De Vaucouleurs argued that Hubble's two-dimensional classification of spiral galaxies—based on the tightness of the spiral arms and the presence or absence of a bar—did not adequately describe the full range of observed galaxy morphologies. In particular, he argued that rings and lenses are important structural components of spiral galaxies.


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What is the shape of the Milky Way galaxy?

A galaxy is a large group of stars, gas, and dust bound together by gravity. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The Milky Way is a large barred spiral galaxy.

It is very difficult to count the number of stars in the Milky Way from our position inside the galaxy. Our best estimates tell us that the Milky Way is made up of approximately 100 billion stars. These stars form a large disk whose diameter is about 100,000 light years. Our Solar System is about 25,000 light years away from the center of our galaxy – we live in the suburbs of our galaxy. Just as the Earth goes around the Sun, the Sun goes around the center of the Milky Way. It takes 250 million years for our Sun and the solar system to go all the way around the center of the Milky Way.

There are billions of other galaxies in the Universe. Only three galaxies outside our own Milky Way Galaxy can be seen without a telescope, and appear as fuzzy patches in the sky with the naked eye. The closest galaxies that we can see without a telescope are the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. These satellite galaxies of the Milky Way can be seen from the southern hemisphere. Even they are about 160,000 light years from us. The Andromeda Galaxy is a larger galaxy that can be seen from the northern hemisphere (with good eyesight and a very dark sky). It is about 2.5 million light years away from us, but its getting closer, and researchers predict that in about 4 billion years it will collide with the Milky Way. , i.e., it takes light 2.5 million years to reach us from one of our "nearby" galaxies. The other galaxies are even further away from us and can only be seen through telescopes.


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What are the three main types of galaxies?

Astronomers classify galaxies into three major categories: elliptical, spiral and irregular. These galaxies span a wide range of sizes, from dwarf galaxies containing as few as 100 million stars to giant galaxies with more than a trillion stars.

Ellipticals, which account for about one-third of all galaxies, vary from nearly circular to very elongated. They possess comparatively little gas and dust, contain older stars and are not actively forming stars anymore. The largest and rarest of these, called giant ellipticals, are about 300,000 light-years across. Astronomers theorize that these are formed by the mergers of smaller galaxies. Much more common are dwarf ellipticals, which are only a few thousand light-years wide.

Spiral galaxies appear as flat, blue-white disks of stars, gas and dust with yellowish bulges in their centers. These galaxies are divided into two groups: normal spirals and barred spirals. In barred spirals, the bar of stars runs through the central bulge. The arms of barred spirals usually start at the end of the bar instead of from the bulge. Spirals are actively forming stars and comprise a large fraction of all the galaxies in the local universe.

Irregular galaxies, which have very little dust, are neither disk-like nor elliptical. Astronomers often see irregular galaxies as they peer deeply into the universe, which is equivalent to looking back in time. These galaxies are abundant in the early universe, before spirals and ellipticals developed.

 Astronomers believe that after the big bang, the explosion which began the universe 10 billion to 20 billion years ago, gravity began to compress masses of free-floating gas. Two main theories, bottom-up and top-down, explain what happened next. According to bottom-up theories, clusters began to form and assembled together into the larger units we know as galaxies. Top-down theories suggest that galaxies formed first, and the stars and other objects within them were subsequently produced.


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What is the name of our galaxy?

Since prehistoric times, human beings have looked up at at the night sky and pondered the mystery of the band of light that stretches across the heavens. And while theories have been advanced since the days of Ancient Greece as to what it could be, it was only with the birth of modern astronomy that scholars have come to know precisely what it is – i.e. countless stars at considerable distances from Earth.

The term “Milky Way”, a term which emerged in Classical Antiquity to describe the band of light in the night sky, has since gone on to become the name for our galaxy. Like many others in the known Universe, the Milky Way is a barred, spiral galaxy that is part of the Local Group – a collection of 54 galaxies. Measuring 100,000 – 180,000 light-years in diameter, the Milky Way consists of between 100 and 400 billion stars.

If you could see our galaxy from the side, it would look like a huge, thin disk with a slight bump in the center. This flat shape is caused by the galaxy spinning around. Everything in our spinning galaxy would fly off into space if it weren’t for the force of gravity.

Without a telescope , we can see about 6,000 stars from Earth. That may seem like a lot of stars, but it’s actually only a small part of the whole. If you think of the entire galaxy as a giant pizza, all the stars you can see from Earth fall within about one pepperoni on that pizza. In fact, for every star you can see, there are more than 20 million you cannot see. Most of the stars are too faint, too far away or blocked by clouds of cosmic dust.


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