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Can we make a movie of the Milky Way galaxy's rotation?

With all of the pictures that have been obtained so far of this barred spiral galaxy we live in, is it possible to string together a video to show its rotation and movement compared to other galaxies? This would probably be a great illustration, helping people to understand our "place" in the Universe!

Motions on galactic scales take an incredibly long time, especially compared to the human lifetime. Moreover, the amount of time that our technology has allowed us to record images like this is incredibly small compared to the entire history of the Milky Way.

For instance, it takes the sun (and our solar system along with it) about 200 million years to go around the galaxy. Your idea is a nice one, and it would be great if we could "show" astronomy to people in this way, but the time scales involved just aren't conducive to that.

September 2007, Ann Martin (more by Ann Martin) (Like this Answer)

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