Have you been fascinated by watching the stars in our galaxy? Does the sight of the Milky Way make you feel all excited? Then the new map unveiled by scientists today is an accurate way into understanding more about our galaxy. A European Space Agency mission called Gaia has released a data, no less than a huge tressure, giving precise measurements of 1.7 billion stars! This is indeed a new view into our home galaxy- the Milky Way.
The Gaia spacecraft was launched in the year 2013 and has been orbiting around the Sun. It has till now surveyed more than billions of stars which are a part of our galaxy. This spacecraft has measurements of the velocity as they have been moving towards or away from it. "This is a very big deal. I've been working on trying to understand the Milky Way and the formation of the Milky Way for a large fraction of my scientific career, and the amount of information this is revealing in some sense is thousands or even hundreds of thousands of times larger than any amount of information we've had previously," said David Hogg, an astrophysicist at New York University and the Flatiron Institute. "We're really talking about an immense change to our knowledge about the Milky Way."
Watch the new view of the Milky Way released by Gaia:
Explore Gaia's sky in colour: https://t.co/GHF78zSlXj
— ESA (@esa) April 25, 2018
There was some data released initially in 2016, but compared to what has been unveiled today, that was just a fraction. The data will be a treat to astronomers around the world. At the news conference where it was announced, the team also presented some images based on the analyses of the data. Anthony Brown of the Netherlands' Leiden University said, "It's not fake, it's real measurements. We know exactly where the stars are."
Watch the 360-degree video motion of the sky:
With such new and accurate data made available, it is possible that we get a lot more of interesting discoveries in the days to come. The analysis around them will continue for years together.