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The Milky Way and Our Neighbors

Evening Program

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1A0120S
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Astronomy chart of the spiral structure, Milky Way galaxy (NASA)


  • This program is part of our Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
  • Platform: Zoom
  • Online registration is required.
  • For multiple registrations, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses.

The quest to understand our Milky Way galaxy has been likened to trying to describe the layout of an unfamiliar house while being trapped inside an interior closet. Nevertheless, astronomers have been able to provide us a detailed view of our home galaxy.

Carrie Fitzgerald, a professor of astronomy and director of the Montgomery College Astronomical Observatory, describes the nature of the Milky Way and how we've been able to figure out its structure, even as we are embedded within it. Learn about the observations that have revealed the Milky Way's secrets, from its spiral arms and supermassive black hole, to the mysterious dark matter in which our galaxy is steeped. Fitzgerald tells the story of how we've come to know the Milky Way, as well as the tantalizing puzzles that still remain hidden from view.

Patron Information

  • Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from
  • Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.


Inside Science

This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.