galactic plane

The galactic plane is the plane in which the disk of the Milky Way Galaxy lies. By definition, one direction perpendicular to this plane is called above or north, and the opposite direction, also perpendicular to the galactic plane, is called below or south. From Earth, due galactic north is marked by the north galactic pole, which lies in Coma Berenices, near the bright star Arcturus, and due galactic south is marked by the south galactic pole, which lies in Sculptor.