Friday, December 20, 2013

Gaia satellite mission: to map positions of over 1 bln stars

Europe has launched its Gaia satellite from the Sinnamary complex in French Guiana, in one of the most ambitious missions in space history.

Gaia will attempt to map the precise positions and distances of more than a billion stars to give the first realistic picture of how the Milky Way galaxy is constructed. Gaia will compile profiles of the stars it sees and transmit the data back to two deep space antenna in Spain and Australia. The satellite is now headed to its first orbit, and will next make a second launch deeper into space.
An artist's impression of the European Space Agency's space telescope
Gaia in operation.

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