The Riddle of the Milky

In a dark clear moonless night, far away from city lights, one may see a starlight-full hazy belt which circles the sky. It divides the sky into two halves, passing through the constellations of Cassiopeia and Perseus and between Orion and the Twins. On the other side of Cassiopeia, the Swan and Eagle are in this celestial path with Sagittarius in the most spectacular southern portion. In many languages it is called a "way," for example Milky Way in English which agrees with the Greek name galak-tos, milk. In Finnish it is the Bird's Way, in Swedish Winter Street. The Chinese call it the Silvery River; the Cherokee, the Way the Dog Ran Away. Unlike the wandering planets, the Milky Way stays fixed relative to the stars, as if it were part of the constellations.

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