I am wondering what are the various names given to the plane of the milky way. I am looking for a specific one I once heard, and will likely recognise when I see it.

If I can explain better with a picture, what are the various names of this bright band of dust and galactic-core:

I apologise if this is not an astronomy question. What subject would it fall under, if not? Certainly, I am not looking for astrological mumbo jumbo or anything.

  • $\begingroup$ Are you perhaps referring to the galaxy components known as the bulge, the thin disk, the thick disk, and the halo? $\endgroup$
    – pela
    Commented Nov 24, 2022 at 14:53
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @pela I don't think so. It's not necessarily a technical name, iirc. $\endgroup$
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Nov 24, 2022 at 14:55
  • $\begingroup$ Wikipedia has a list of names for the Milky Way, e.g. Straw Path, Silver River. $\endgroup$
    – Mike G
    Commented Nov 24, 2022 at 22:43
  • $\begingroup$ "great rift"? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…. $\endgroup$
    – James K
    Commented Nov 27, 2022 at 8:24
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    $\begingroup$ @JamesK I think that might be it... Not sure. I'll leave the question open a while longer and if nothing better comes along I'll accept that as the answer (if you make it into one) $\endgroup$
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Nov 27, 2022 at 12:59

1 Answer 1


The central part of the milky way has a dark band, the result of dust blocking out light from more distant stars. This is sometimes called the "Great rift" or "dark rift".


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