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Gaia satellite begins five year quest to create 3D map of one billion stars
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Gaia satellite begins five year quest to create 3D map of one billion stars

The largest camera ever launched into space has reached its destination 1.5 million kilometres from Earth to begin work on “the most precise three dimensional map of our galaxy” ever recorded.

The flying saucer-shaped Gaia satellite was launched from French Guiana in December last year by the European Space Agency as the start of a five year mission to locate and analyse roughly one billion stars.

By the time project is complete each star in Gaia’s field of vision will have been scanned around 70 times, measuring not only its position, but also its brightness, temperature and chemical composition.

“Gaia will be a revolution in our knowledge of the local Universe,” said Professor Gerry Gilmore from the University of Cambridge the UK’s Principal Investigator on the project.

Source: www.independent.co.uk

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