Nightscapes and Milkyway

The Milky Way is the galaxy that contains our Solar System, with the name describing the galaxy's appearance from Earth: a hazy band of light seen in the night sky formed from stars that cannot be individually distinguished by the naked eye. From Earth, the Milky Way appears as a band because its disk-shaped structure is viewed from within.

In ancient Greece there were several myths about the origin of the Milky Way. The father of the gods Zeus wanted to give immortality to Hercules, whom he had begotten with the mortal king's daughter Alkmene, and therefore laid him on the breast of his sleeping wife Hera. This awoke from his heavy sucking and angrily pushed him away. The milk splashed out of her breasts and spread over the sky, where it formed the "milk circle" ("Kiklos Galaxias").

Another believes the Milky Way to be the fiery trail that Phaëton left behind when he raced awkwardly across the sky in his father Helios' sun chariot.

Bushmen of the Kalahari in Botswana refer to the Milky Way as the “backbone of the night” without the debris of darkness falling onto the earth.