European satellite releases info on more than 1 billion stars

The European Space Agency (ESA) has released the first data from its Gaia satellite, detailing the position and brightness of 1.14 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy, as well as the distances and motions for more than 2 million.

This is only a sampling of data from the first 14 months of a larger project to create a 3-D map of 1 billion stars that will be completed in the next year and promises to give scientists a much greater understanding of our galaxy.

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. “Today’s release gives us a first impression of the extraordinary data that await us and that will revolutionize our understanding of how stars are distributed and move across ourgalaxy.” READ MORE.