How Do We Know What the Milky Way Looks Like?

Imagine describing what something looks like when you've only seen it from the inside. That's the task astronomers tackle when describing the shape and characteristics of the Milky Way. Using a combination of physics and mathematics, astronomers build what they believe to be an accurate model. Learn their methods in a video lesson from the SciShow Space series.

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CCSS: Adaptable
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Instructional Ideas
  • Have pupils compare models of solar systems identifying similarities and differences
  • As learners view the video, have them write down two questions and two facts they want to discuss
Classroom Considerations
  • Be aware of YouTube comments when making the video available for independent viewing
  • Includes images to support the concepts
  • Discusses both historical and current findings and theories
  • None