We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.
Posted 07 July 2014 - 01:44 PM
First data from space megacamera delayed nine months
New Scientist said:
Galaxy mappers will just have to hold tight – a trio of technical troubles means that the first release of data from the Gaia space telescope has been pushed back to the middle of 2016, nine months later than originally planned.
Launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) in December 2013, Gaia will use its 1.5-gigapixel camera to catalogue a billion stars in our galaxy, including stars that are thousands of times fainter than we can see with the naked eye. The telescope is currently 1.5 million kilometres away from Earth, in a spot known as Lagrange point 2, where the gravitational pull of the sun and Earth cancel each other out. The alignment of gravitational forces between Earth and the sun means that any object in this location is always on Earth's night side.
"Space is big. Really big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-boggingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the street to the chemist, but that's just peanuts to space." - The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams 1952 - 2001