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Space & Astronomy

Star map update to feature 1.7 billion stars

April 26, 2018 | Comment icon 11 comments



Gaia is providing us with an unparalleled map of the Milky Way. Image Credit: ESA/Gaia/DPAC
Astronomers from ESA's Gaia mission will tomorrow release the largest map of our galaxy ever created.
Equipped with a 1 billion-pixel camera capable of measuring the diameter of a single human hair from over 1,000km away, Gaia is able to map the galaxy in more detail than ever before.

Launched back in 2013, the spacecraft has already catalogued the position and brightness of 1.1 billion stars and tomorrow astronomers are expected to reveal the addition of a further 600 million.

"It will be the most precise and complete stellar catalog ever produced," said Gaia Science Operations Manager Uwe Lammers.
The new release will cover a much wider region of the galaxy than the previous release and will also include additional data such as stellar temperatures and velocities.

A third release featuring even more stars is expected to take place in 2020.

"Gaia is an unprecedented map of the Milky Way galaxy, fundamental astrophysics at its finest, laying the groundwork for decades of research on everything from the Solar System to the origin and evolution of the Universe," said astronomer Emily Rice.

"It is at once foundational and transformative, which is rare in modern astronomy."

Source: Gizmodo | Comments (11)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by fred_mc 4 years ago
So ... does anyone feel up for naming all those stars ;-) ?
Comment icon #3 Posted by freetoroam 4 years ago
Some life forms must be out there somewhere. It makes me feel so alone to think we are the only planet with life on,  but looking all those billions of stars...we can not be! Surely not. I still do not think i will see them find another planet with life similar to ours on it in my life time, but one day? Very likely as the technology is getting better and better.  
Comment icon #4 Posted by Noxasa 4 years ago
I can see my house!!!
Comment icon #5 Posted by odiesbsc 4 years ago
  Is it the one on the right or the left?
Comment icon #6 Posted by McNessy 4 years ago
freetoroam theres a life form trillions of light years away wondering the same thing :)
Comment icon #7 Posted by MisterMan 4 years ago
Sure.  I'll get it started anyway... Star 1, Star 2, Star 3, Star 4. Okay, you guys can do the rest.  
Comment icon #8 Posted by paperdyer 4 years ago
Can we number them using base binary instead of base 10?
Comment icon #9 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 4 years ago
There are 10 types of people in the world, those that understand binary and those that don't.
Comment icon #10 Posted by MisterMan 4 years ago
  No.  Then I'd have to start all over. I have that T-Shirt somewhere.  I need to find it.  Thanks for the reminder.
Comment icon #11 Posted by TonopahRick 4 years ago
Somebody wave your hand so I can figure out where we are.


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