Space: Gaia Telescope has unveiled a new map of the Milky Way


The Gaia Telescope creates 700 million star positions every day. From Monday, astronomers will have access to the third edition of the Milky Way map.

The telescope will finish space scanning in 2025

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Including Gaia Mission Space Telescope Trained A detailed map of the Milky WayOn Monday it unveiled a new version of the nearly two billion star-studded data that it must follow and analyze features.

“It’s a Swiss Army knife of astrophysics. There is no astronomer who will not use his data directly or indirectly, “Franোয়াois Mignard, an astronomer at the C ডিte d’Azur Observatory for France, told AFP.

The community of astronomers will be able to draw the third catalog of data collected by the instrument from Monday, 10:00 GMT (12:00 in Switzerland). A crop, with about fifty scientific articles, which lists many celestial objects.

From the closest, with more than 150,000 asteroids in our solar system, “whose orbit has been calculated with unparalleled accuracy,” Mr Mignard said, the new measurement relating to more than 1.8 billion stars in the Milky Way. And outside of this galaxy: the population of other galaxies and distant quasars.

Launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) in 2013, the Gaia Telescope is located at a convenient location called L2, 1.5 million kilometers from the Earth, opposite the Sun.

Gaia scans the sky and picks up what she sees:

Misha Howd, astronomer

“Gaia scans the sky and picks up what it sees,” says astronomer Misha Hewed at the Paris-PSL Observatory. It detects and observes a very small fraction (only 1%) of the stars in our galaxy, measuring 100,000 light-years in diameter.

But he set up much more than a simple map. Its two telescopes are connected to a billion-pixel photographic sensor, where the number of commercial cameras is in the millions. Three astrometry instruments, photometry and spectroscopy, thus recovering photons, will interpret real light signals.

A worldwide observation

“Thanks to this, it provides a worldwide observation of the positions of what is going on in the sky. This is the first time,” continued Mr. Haywood. Observations since the launch have revolutionized observation, listing more than 110,000 celestial objects.

With Gaia, astronomers can access not only the position and motion of a large number of stars, but also measure their physical and chemical character and, just as importantly, their age. Paula de Matte, a fellow astronomer at Misha Heod’s Paris-PSL Observatory, explains that so much information “informs us about the evolution of their past and therefore the galaxy.”

Astronomers continue to say “this is one of the reasons why Gaia was created.” “Stars have the characteristic of living for billions of years. Their measurements are therefore like a fossil that tells us about the state of the galaxy during their formation.”

The main discovery

This overview of the Milky Way’s star movements has already led to major discoveries. With the help of the second catalog given in 2018, astronomers were able to show that our galaxy was “united” ten billion years ago.

The catalog has produced thousands of scientific articles since its first edition in 2016. A flood of information requires a dedicated ground processing chain, DPAC, a combination of supercomputers from six European computing centers and 450 experts, explained François Mignard, who was in charge.

“There is no mission without this processing group”, because Gaia produces 700 million star positions, 150 million light-measurements and 14 million spectra per day. Raw data is a torrent that converts measurements into “human-driven” algorithms that can be used by astronomers. It will take five years to provide this third catalog of observations spread from 2014 to 2017. And we’ll have to wait until 2030 to get the final version, when Gaia will finish space scanning in 2025.


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