Tuesday, December 17, 2013

"Mission Gaia": Space Camera to deliver 3D map of the Milky Way - ABC Online

Space in Europe is eagerly awaiting the launch of its most advanced space telescope: On board a Soyuz rocket on Thursday to the astronomy telescope Gaia from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana launch into space. Also on board is the largest digital camera ever built for space: With a resolution of almost a billion pixels it is part of a very complex telescopic system to create the biggest and most detailed 3D map of the Milky Way


The Mission Gaia is considered unique in the world

research satellite will

and a half million kilometers from Earth five years measuring the position of a billion stars. This corresponds to the accuracy of the measurements of the brighter of these stars the size of a one euro coin on the moon – as seen from Earth. In other words, Gaia might after scientists information see a single hair from a distance of up to a thousand miles


Three-dimensional image of our galaxy

“The 3D map of Gaia represents an absolute novelty”, the European Space Agency ESA says in advance. The mission is named after the earth goddess of Greek mythology and their preparation has lasted well over a decade. From the three-dimensional image of our galaxy, the researchers hope new insights about the formation, origin and current appearance of the Milky Way. Gaia will provide answers to the questions of how exactly the spiral arms of our galaxy have arisen and which matter streams criss-cross the Milky Way.

its sky survey of the Gaia satellite will detect objects in space that are hundreds of thousands of times fainter than those that we can see with the naked eye. According takes the gigantic amount of data that Gaia will be transmitted to Earth: The data deluge is expected to swell to one million gigabytes over the entire duration of the mission – the equivalent of noisy ESA amount of data on approximately 200 000 DVDs


Gaia should also faint star track

This data

mountain Gaia could make a true discovery machine and provide scientists a wealth of new research approaches. So Gaia could track thousands of planets orbiting other suns, also a large number of asteroids and comets within our solar system. In addition, the satellite in distant galaxies is likely to discover tens of thousands of exploding stars called supernovae.

Also on the difficult search for a very specific kind of faint stars he will assist Gaia could tens of thousands of brown dwarf stars get on the track – these are stars with too little mass to in their interior nuclear fusion of hydrogen into helium in transition to put. Brown dwarfs are so to speak “failed stars” – because the constant conversion of hydrogen into helium is the source of energy that emit stars such as our Sun


Milky Way offers best conditions for new life

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