Artist’s impression of the structure of the Milky Way.
This shows the Milky Way as a barred spiral galaxy, with two major arms (Scutum-Centaurus and Perseus) and two less distinct arms (Sagittarius and Norma). The major arms have a high density of stars, while the minor arms consist mostly of gas and star-forming regions. The far-3kpc arm was discovered via a radio-telescope survey.
Our solar system lies in the Orion spur, a smaller arm.