Etymology - Milky Way first appeared in the English...

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Etymology The word galaxy derives from the Greek term for our own galaxy, galaxias ( γαλαξίας ), or kyklos galaktikos , meaning "milky circle" [13] for its appearance in the sky. In Greek mythology , Zeus places his son born by a mortal woman, the infant Heracles , on Hera 's breast while she is asleep so that the baby will drink her divine milk and will thus become immortal. Hera wakes up while breastfeeding and then realizes she is nursing an unknown baby: she pushes the baby away and a jet of her milk sprays the night sky, producing the faint band of light known as the Milky Way. [14] [15] In the astronomical literature, the capitalized word 'Galaxy' is used to refer to our galaxy, the Milky Way , to distinguish it from the billions of other galaxies. The term
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Unformatted text preview: Milky Way first appeared in the English language in a story by Chaucer . "See yonder, lo, the Galaxyë Which men clepeth the Milky Wey, For hit is whyt." —Geoffrey Chaucer. The House of Fame , c. 1380. [13] When William Herschel constructed his catalog of deep sky objects in 1786, he used the name spiral nebula for certain objects such as M31 . These would later be recognized as immense conglomerations of stars, when the true distance to these objects began to be appreciated, and they would be termed island universes. However, the word Universe was understood to mean the entirety of existence, so this expression fell into disuse and the objects instead became known as galaxies....
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