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Starry, starry night: Gaia satellite shines a light a billion stars in the Milky Way

April 25, 2018 4:55 PM
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Incredible new view is the most accurate 3-D Map of the Milky Way

Star light, star bright....if you want to wish upon a star, then the Gaia satellite has 1.7 billion to chose from.

The Gaia satellite has produced the richest star catalogue to date of stars in the Milky Way, including high-precision measurements of nearly 1.7 billion stars and revealing previously unseen details of our home Galaxy.

The new data release, which covers the 22 months between July 2014 and May 2016, pins down the positions of nearly 1.7 billion stars, and with much greater precision, as well as 14,000 asteroids.

For some of the brightest stars in the survey, the level of precision equates to Earth-bound observers being able to spot a Euro coin lying on the surface of the Moon.

Gaia's data represents "the most precise and complete stellar catalog ever produced," Gaia Science Operations Manager Uwe Lammers told Gizmodo.

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