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News from Gaia - 2 million stars, 5 million years

Posted by Owen Gwynne on April 20, 2017 at 6:45 AM

The Gaia mission from ESA continues to provide a wealth of data on stellar positions and motions.

If you're not familiar, it's a satellite that continuously scans the sky as it rotates, plotting the position of stars with unprecedented accuracy. As the satellite moves with the Earth around the sun, this gives it the scope to measure the parallax of a billion stars in our galaxy, and measure the proper motion of a lot of them too. The satellite is fitted with a spectroscope so that it can measure the radial velocity of stars as well, allowing ESA to develop a catalogue of stars with velocity measurements in 3 dimensions. 

ESA has recently issued a subset of measurements, showing the movement of 2 million stars projected forward for the next 5 million years. 


Details from the ESA Gaia mission web page


Categories: Astro News

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