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Names for the Milky Way

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Look up into the night sky, and imagine that you’ve never heard the term Milky Way. What would you call that glowing band of stars across the heavens? In Sweden, it’s called Vintergatan, or “Winter Street.” In Hawaii, the Milky Way is sometimes called Iʻa-lele-i-aka, a name that translates as “fish jumping in shadows.” And in the Cherokee language, this celestial arc goes by a name that translates as “where the dog ran” — an allusion to a folktale about a dog that snatched some cornmeal in its mouth and spilled some as humans gave chase. This is part of a complete episode.

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