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Book excerpt: ‘The Milky Way’

If our galaxy could tell us its story, what would it say?

Scientists have pieced together a remarkable history of the Milky Way galaxy we live in, tracing how it evolved to its current form and how everything will change when it collides with the neighboring Andromeda galaxy. But astrophysicist and folklorist Moiya McTier imagines in her new book, “The Milky Way: An Autobiography of Our Galaxy (opens in new tab)” (Grand Central, 2022), a tale that reads very differently, written from the perspective of the galaxy. The Milky Way makes for a prickly narrator in her story — “Larry” in the excerpt below is the galaxy’s derisive nickname for the Large Magellanic Cloud, one of the closest galaxies to our own.

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