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A new map of the Milky Way breaks all records

The European Space Agency, ESA, just has Data from the Gaia Space Telescope Which astounded astronomers around the world.

With the help of the new data, the responsible astronomers have created the most detailed map ever made of the Milky Way.

Dive into ESA’s new data, photos and videos here

In addition to finding nearly two billion new stars, the space telescope has also observed stellar earthquakes, thousands of objects in our solar system, distant galaxies, and quasars.

Data from Gaia also contains the largest catalog of binary stars to date, so-called double stars.

Double stars are a group of two or more stars that divide their gravitational pull in closed orbits around each other.

A total of 813,000 double stars were observed, along with measurements of their positions, distances, orbits, and masses.

Astrophysicists are particularly interested in binary stars because they can provide direct measurements of the mass of stars.

Gaia finds stellar earthquakes

Gaia’s biggest surprise was found by several thousand so-called star earthquakes. This surprises researchers, as the telescope is not designed to be able to observe them.

Stellar earthquakes are tsunami-like changes on the surface of a star, somewhat similar to an earthquake on Earth.

If these stars were as close to us as the sun, it would look as if the sun had changed shape before our eyes.

Dust and new galaxies

However, it is not just information about the stars that Gaia sent home. Using the light of 470 million stars, the telescope produced a three-million-pixel map of cosmic dust in the Milky Way.

Additionally, Gaia has spotted 156,000 asteroids near our planet and all the way to Neptune, as well as 31 moons around the largest planets in our solar system.

In addition, Gaia has discovered 1.9 million quasars outside our galaxy and 2.9 million new galaxies.

This means that with the help of this data we have observed just over one percent of the stars in our galaxy (yes, you read that right – one percent).

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