The Milky Way chapter contains six segments:
- Nearby Stars
- Distant Stars
- Planetary Nebula
- Star Clusters & Supernova
- Star Birth Nebula
- The Milky Way
In Nearby Stars, we extend the parallax methods used for the Solar System to work for the stars. We then take a look at a number of stars and note their brightness and color. Once we reach the limits of ground based telescopes to find parallax, we introduce the Hipparcos satillite, and continue looking at stars until their distance is too great for parallax to work.
In Distant Stars, we lay the foundation for the Hurtzprung – Russel Diagram. This includes blackbody rediatio, the full electromagnetic spectrum, light energy, and spectroscopy. We use Betelgeuse to show how the H-R Diagram can give us a star’s distance. With that, we examine a number of stars across the Milky Way galaxy. These include standard candles – Cepheid variable stars and RR Lyrae variable stars. We end with adding the H-R Diagram and these two standard candles to our distance ladder.
In Planetary Nebula, we show the end of life for normal stars around the mass of the Sun and the White Drwarfs and nebula they leave behind. We then take a look at some of the most spectacular nebula created by these exploding stars. Along the way we explain the Doppler Effect and add Expansion Parallax to our distance ladder.
In Star Clusters & Supernova, we cover the two main kinds of star clusters and show a few of each kind. We then show the end of life for massive stars using the Grab Nebula with its Neutron Star as an example. We then take a look at a variety of the spectacular remnants left behind when a star supernovas. long the way we explain Type 1a Supernova and how they work as a splended standard candle. We end by adding the largest globular clusters and Type 1a Supernova to our distance ladder.
In Star Birth Nebula, we cover how new born stars set the dust they are born in aglow. We give examples of reflection nebula, emission nebula, and dark nebula. We define an H II region where all three kinds of nebula co-mingle to create spectacula celestial landscapes. We then take a turn around the most beautiful nebula in the galaxy, including a close look at Orinon and Carina. We end by adding the brightest H II reagions to our distance ladder.
In the final segment of the Milky Way chapter, we cover the size and structure of the Milky Way galaxy as a whole. We begin with the central buldge and cover the evedence for the supermassive black hole at the center. We then cover the disk with its spiral arms and our place in the Orion Spur. Lastly we cover the halo that has grown to much larger sizes than previously thought thanks to the discovers by the Chandra Space Observatory.