The largest all-sky survey of celestial objects ever made by humans was released this month, using data from The European Space Agency (ESA)'s Gaia satellite.
The survey captures more than a billion stars, and will become part of the most detailed 3D map ever made of our Milky Way galaxy.
“Gaia has pinned down the precise position on the sky and the brightness of 1142 million stars,” ESA reports. The star catalogue also documents details of the distances and motions across the sky for over two million stars.
“Gaia is at the forefront of astrometry, charting the sky at precisions that have never been achieved before,” said Alvaro Giménez, ESA’s Director of Science. “[This] gives us a first impression of the extraordinary data that await us and that will revolutionise our understanding of how stars are distributed and move across our Galaxy.”
Artist's impression of Gaia mapping the stars of the Milky Way [ESA]
Gaia started its scientific work in July of 2014. This is the first big data release from the project, representing data gathered during the first 14 months, through September 2015.
From the New York Times:
Most of the Milky Way’s stars reside in the so-called Galactic Plane, shown here as a bright horizontal strip about 100,000 light-years across and about 1,000 light-years deep. (...) As extensive as these measurements are, Gaia will catalog just 1 percent of the stars found in the Milky Way by the time its mission ends.
You can follow GAIA's mission on Facebook.
Scientists drilled into the Chixclub crater in the Gulf of Mexico to learn more about the end of the mesozoic era. They learned more than they expected, reports Katherine Kornei in The New York Times. The first day of the Cenozoic was peppered with cataclysms. When the asteroid struck, it temporarily carved a hole 60 […]
Get over it! Despite the mockers and complainers, and even attempts to make it illegal to perambulate while looking at your own damned phone, science concludes that the risks of it are negligible. As part of the mandated study, the DOT conducted an in-depth review of written crash narratives in the city between 2014 and […]
Typically, marine photography is done in rich, saturated color — the better to show off the riot of life beneath the waves. But the photographer Christian Vizl has done it in high-contrast black and white, producing eerily intense ways of re-seeing marine life. You can see the work on his site, and in his new […]
On the one hand, nostalgia is “a corruption of the historical impulse,” according to William Gibson. On the other hand, “Super Mario Bros.” will never not be cool. Luckily, there’s a way to satisfy that retro gaming while still keeping an eye on the future: The GameShell Kit. This thing is simultaneously the last handheld […]
The field of data analytics can get intimidating, even for business professionals who constantly rely on it. But at its heart, its purpose is to simplify. To take mounds of information and distill their insights into a single clear picture. Currently, the go-to software for painting that picture is Tableau. And if you want to […]
If you’re in the market for a stable, durable camera fully suited for first-person video, there’s a good chance that you’re the adventurous type. So why settle on a familiar name like GoPro? The DJI Osmo Action 4K HDR Camera checks off all the same boxes on the action cam checklist as the GoPro 4K […]