Astrophysics (index)

Galactic Plane

(plane in which the stars of the Milky Way reside)

The Galactic Plane is the plane through space in which the stars of the Milky Way sit. The term is often used in general descriptions of the position of astronomical objects near the galaxy, e.g., the general position of a particular Globular Cluster (GC). The term is also used in relation other flat galaxies.

The term is also used for a precisely-defined plane through the Milky Way that is an element of the Galactic Coordinate System and is based on a determination of the plane closest to the general concept. The visible Milky Way is close to flat, but does have some thickness. The Galactic Poles are directions from the center of the Milky Way (Galactic Center) perpendicular to the plane.

(Milky Way,coordinates)

Referenced by:
Celestial Coordinate System
Galactic Coordinate System
Globular Cluster (GC)
The H2O Southern Galactic Plane Survey (HOPS)
IC 342
Infrared Dark Cloud (IRDC)
Polar-Ring Catalog (PRC)
Supergalactic Coordinate System