Dear Urban Astronomer
Do all planets spin the same way, or are there some planets where the sun rises in their equivalent of West? Does it depend on the particular solar system? What about the stars in a galaxy -- do they all spin in the same direction? Do all galaxies spin the same way, or do they even spin at all?
Amanda Dominy (extracted from facebook conversation)
First, the short answer: All rotations and revolutions in a planetary system are in the same direction, except for when they aren't. These motions are not necessarily in the same direction between neighbouring stars, even stars born from the same gas cloud. The stars themselves do move through a galaxy in the same direction in a roughly circular orbit, except for when they don't.
So that's all cleared up then. But just in case you're still in the dark, here's a more detailed answer: