Gaia creates richest star map of our Galaxy—and beyond

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Gaia creates richest star map of our Galaxy—and beyond

Post by Dragon on Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:56 pm

ESA's Gaia mission has produced the richest star catalogue to date, including high-precision measurements of nearly 1.7 billion stars and revealing previously unseen details of our home Galaxy.

A multitude of discoveries are on the horizon after this much awaited release, which is based on 22 months of charting the sky. The new data includes positions, distance indicators and motions of more than one billion stars, along with high-precision measurements of asteroids within our Solar System and stars beyond our own Milky Way Galaxy.

Preliminary analysis of this phenomenal data reveals fine details about the make-up of the Milky Way's stellar population and about how stars move, essential information for investigating the formation and evolution of our home Galaxy.

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Re: Gaia creates richest star map of our Galaxy—and beyond

Post by Dragon on Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:23 pm


Credit: Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC); A. Moitinho / A. F. Silva / M. Barros / C. Barata, University of Lisbon, Portugal; H. Savietto, Fork Research, Portugal.

Gaia’s all-sky view of our Milky Way Galaxy and neighbouring galaxies, based on measurements of nearly 1.7 billion stars. The map shows the total brightness and colour of stars observed by the ESA satellite in each portion of the sky between July 2014 and May 2016.

Brighter regions indicate denser concentrations of especially bright stars, while darker regions correspond to patches of the sky where fewer bright stars are observed.

The colour representation is obtained by combining the total amount of light with the amount of blue and red light recorded by Gaia in each patch of the sky. The bright horizontal structure that dominates the image is the Galactic plane, the flattened disc that hosts most of the stars in our home Galaxy.

In the middle of the image, the Galactic centre appears vivid and teeming with stars. Darker regions across the Galactic plane correspond to foreground clouds of interstellar gas and dust, which absorb the light of stars located further away, behind the clouds.

Many of these conceal stellar nurseries where new generations of stars are being born.

Sprinkled across the image are also many globular and open clusters – groupings of stars held together by their mutual gravity, as well as entire galaxies beyond our own.

The two bright objects in the lower right of the image are the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, two dwarf galaxies orbiting the Milky Way.

In small areas of the image where no colour information was available – to the lower left of the Galactic centre, to the upper left of the Small Magellanic Cloud, and in the top portion of the map – an equivalent greyscale value was assigned.

The second Gaia data release was made public on 25 April 2018 and includes the position and brightness of almost 1.7 billion stars, and the parallax, proper motion and colour of more than 1.3 billion stars.

It also includes the radial velocity of more than seven million stars, the surface temperature of more than 100 million stars, and the amount of dust intervening between us and of 87 million stars.

There are also more than 500 000 variable sources, and the position of 14 099 known Solar System objects – most of them asteroids – included in the release.

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Re: Gaia creates richest star map of our Galaxy—and beyond

Post by Dragon on Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:24 pm



Credit: Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC); Top and middle: A. Moitinho / A. F. Silva / M. Barros / C. Barata, University of Lisbon, Portugal; H. Savietto, Fork Research, Portugal;Bottom: Gaia Coordination Unit 8; M. Fouesneau / C. Bailer-Jones, Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Heidelberg, Germany.

Gaia’s all-sky view of our Milky Way Galaxy and neighbouring galaxies. The maps show the total brightness and colour of stars (top), the total density of stars (middle) and the interstellar dust that fills the Galaxy (bottom). These images are based on observations performed by the ESA satellite in each portion of the sky between July 2014 and May 2016, which were published as part of Gaia second data release on 25 April 2018.

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Re: Gaia creates richest star map of our Galaxy—and beyond

Post by Dragon on Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:26 pm



On 25 April 2018, ESA’s Gaia mission will publish its much awaited second data release, including high-precision measurements of nearly 1.7 billion stars in our Galaxy.

Scientists who have been working on creating and validating the data contained in the catalogue tell us why they are waiting for this extraordinary release.

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Re: Gaia creates richest star map of our Galaxy—and beyond

Post by Dragon on Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:27 pm



ESA's Gaia mission has produced the richest star catalogue to date, including high-precision measurements of nearly 1.7 billion stars and revealing previously unseen details of our home Galaxy.

A multitude of discoveries are on the horizon after this much awaited release, which is based on 22 months of charting the sky. The new data includes positions, distance indicators and motions of more than one billion stars, along with high-precision measurements of asteroids within our Solar System and stars beyond our own Milky Way Galaxy.

Preliminary analysis of this phenomenal data reveals fine details about the make-up of the Milky Way's stellar population and about how stars move, essential information for investigating the formation and evolution of our home Galaxy.

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Re: Gaia creates richest star map of our Galaxy—and beyond

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