Today, Monday, the European Space Agency published data on the Milky Way, which includes a large amount of information on about two billion stars that were traced in its path and analyzed by the Gaia space telescope, in an attempt to draw a more accurate and comprehensive map of the galaxy in which the Earth orbits.
Astronomers hope that reading and analyzing the new data will provide a deeper understanding of how stars are born and die, and how the Milky Way has evolved over billions of years.
The Gaia telescope was launched for the European Space Agency and began its work in 2013. Gaia is located in a privileged location called “L2” 1.5 million km from Earth, opposite the direction of the sun, and Gaia produces data on 700 daily 1 million stellar locations, 150 million photometers, and 14 million spectra. “Human-led” algorithms are allowing this torrent of raw data to be converted into measurements that astronomers can use.
The new data published by the European Space Agency includes information about stars and planets, such as age, mass, temperature and chemical and physical properties. The data also enables the identification of stars that were born in another galaxy and then migrated to the Milky Way.
“It’s an amazing goldmine for astronomy,” says Antonella Nota, the ESA Web scientist who helped lead the 450 scientists and engineers who have spent years turning data collected by the probe into usable data.
The Gaia telescope was also able to detect more than 100,000 of the so-called “stellar earthquakes”, which the European Space Agency likened to “large tsunamis overflowing through the stars,” and astrophysicist Connie Aerts said that this would allow the Scientists to infer the density, internal rotation and temperature inside stars.
And the telescope that surveyed the sky is observing and observing a very small part, which does not exceed one percent of the stars in the Milky Way, which has a diameter of more than 100,000 light-years.
The data sent out by Gaia includes information on 800,000 binaries (stars that move side by side), many new exoplanets, hundreds of thousands of asteroids in the Solar System, and millions of objects outside the Milky Way.
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