The Milky Way

Leo I

Leo I, a small Milky Way companion
galaxy discovered by the SDSS

Research Question

How are stars in the Milky Way’s disk different from stars far away from the disk?

Things you might think about

  1. Where in the sky will you look?
  2. What properties of stars are most meaningful to compare?
  3. Where do you expect the most stars? The brightest? The reddest? How would you test these ideas?
  4. What properties of a star might you measure?
  5. What do you expect the spectra of stars to look like?

Tools that might help you (all links open in new windows)

Navigate: use this tool to get data on single stars

Scope: view the coverage maps on the main SDSS website.

Search Form: use this tool to search for data on many stars. See the user’s guide to learn how to use the tool.

SQL Search: use the tool below to write complex Structured Query Language (SQL) searches for stars

SQL Search


Science background (new windows)

SkyServer galaxies project

“Milky Way” on Wikipedia

“Milky Way” at Students for the Exploration and Development of Space

List of SDSS spectral lines

Hints and cautions (new windows)

If you look at spectra, study the line labels carefully. Not all of them are element names!

You can use SQL aggregate functions (like avg, min, max) to do your analysis.


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