December 9, 2022

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Gaia probe with the most accurate map of the Milky Way ever

Gaia probe with the most accurate map of the Milky Way ever

Thanks to new data from the European Space Agency’s Gaia spacecraft, it has become possible to create the most detailed map of the Milky Way.

Belonging to the European Space Agency The Gaia Space Observatory was launched in 2013 and has long achieved its goal: to target more than a billion stars in the Milky Way. June 13 this year the mission expanded this map with new things, publishing more detailed measurements of hundreds of millions of stars as well as – for the first time in history – asteroids, galaxies and interstellar mediums.

Suddenly there was a flood of data. For some astronomical subjects, the new results effectively replace any observations made before. The data is better. amazing thing.Laurent Eyer, an astrophysicist at the University of Geneva who has been working on Project Gaia for years

The data was collected in the years 2014-2017 and has already allowed for new discoveries – including the study of so-called stellar earthquakes that occur on the surfaces of thousands of stars. The new map is a new tool for astronomers to understand how stars, planets and entire galaxies form and evolve.

asteroid notes

The asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter is in real chaos. After the Earth and other planets formed, the rocky blocks that formed after it crashed against each other. But if scientists know enough about asteroids, they can reconstruct when and where they came from, and that may help understand the origins of the solar system.

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The new map created by Gaia contains data on the chemical composition of more than 60,000 asteroids – six times what scientists previously had. The data collected can reveal things that are impossible to see from Earth because it orbits close to the sun.

Although the Milky Way may appear unchanging, it actually feeds on smaller galaxies — so far it is in the process of devouring one of them. But for decades, predictions about when and how cosmic mergers occur have contradicted the waters of our galaxy. It’s been controversial for a long time, but I think Gaia will definitely shed some light.Bertrand Goldmann, astrophysicist at the International Space University in Strasbourg

Gaia allows you to check the age of individual structures of the Milky Way. The probe does this in two ways: by mapping the chemistry of stars and measuring their motion. Previous versions of the survey described the movement of millions of stars, but mostly in two dimensions. The new catalog quadruples the number of stars with full 3D tracks from 7 million to 33 million.

Astronomers are already planning for the future of Gaia. The next round of research will take several years, but it will likely discover thousands of exoplanets and black holes.