The Milky Way, or simply the Galaxy, is the galaxy in which the solar system is located. It is a barred spiral galaxy that is part of the Local Group of galaxies. It is one of billions of galaxies in the observable universe.
Its name is a translation of the Latin Via Lactea, in turn translated from the Greek Γαλαξίας (Galaxias), referring to the pale band of light formed by the galactic plane as seen from Earth (see etymology of galaxy). Some sources hold that, strictly speaking, the term Milky Way should refer exclusively to the band of light that the galaxy forms in the night sky, while the galaxy should receive the full name Milky Way Galaxy, or alternatively the Galaxy.However, it is unclear how widespread this convention is, and the term Milky Way is routinely used in either context.