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. ...
360º animated view of the sky in the northern hemisphere on 25 April 2018. After a few seconds, the stars start moving in the sky according to parallax, an apparent shift caused by Earth’s yearly motion around the Sun. Then, constellation outlines appear as visual aids. Finally, stars start moving according to their true motion through space, which is visible on the sky as proper motion. Parallaxes and proper motions have been exaggerated by 100 000 to make them visible in this animation. This animation is based on data from the second data release of ESA’s Gaia satellite, which has measured the positions, parallaxes and motions of more than one billion stars across the sky to unprecedented accuracy. Credit: ESA/Gaia/DPAC Acknowledgement: Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC); Gaia Sky; S. Jordan / T. Sagristà, Astronomisches Rechen-Institut, Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, Germany