‘Our island’ examines the Milky Way. Many new technologies have increased our understanding of our home galaxy. Most notably, we now know that stars make up only a small part of the Milky Way's mass, with the rest being cold dark matter. The Milky Way is made up of a halo, containing older stars, surrounded by spiral arms, which contain younger stars. Stars are formed from collapsing clouds, which form a core that pulls in other material. A supermassive black hole exists at the centre of our galaxy, which is visible through its interaction with nearby stars. Importantly, our galaxy is typical, increasing our knowledge of other galaxies.