the most accurate 3D map ever made, of nearly two billion stars in our galaxy, the Milky Way: 1.811.709.771 to be precise. the result of 34 months of observations made with the astronomical satellite Gaia of the ESA (European Space Agency) specially designed to precisely define the position of the stars of our star island. The fundamental data to study them and allow other discoveries about their nature. Beyond the position, Gaia also measured distances, celestial movements, luminosity and colors; all operations in which researchers from ASI (Italian Space Agency) and the National Institute of Astrophysics (Inaf) participated in a significant way. One of the six European centers that have developed the mountain of information is the Altec center in Turin.
Among the important results obtained there is the complete identikit of over 330 thousand stars present in the vicinity of the Sun within a distance of 330 light years, classifying their properties, explains Mario Lattanzi of INAF and responsible for the Italian participation in the program. The Gaia satellite was launched in 2013 and has since scanned the corners of the galaxy on the outskirts of which we “inhabit” the solar system.
Gaia the successor of the first European astrometric satellite, Hipparcos, which began this census work in 1989. But these were only the first steps. Now Gaia, making an extraordinary leap, has the ability to look at the stars, capturing their brightness a million times fainter than that perceived by the human eye. And thanks to his abilities it was possible to know the details of the formation and evolution of the galaxy in relation to other parts of the visible universe. In fact, his gaze also went beyond the Milky Way, scrutinizing the hearts of other galaxies, detecting, for example, the details of the two Magellanic clouds close to us, showing the cannibalism taking place with the largest one eating the smallest.
December 3, 2020 (change December 3, 2020 | 4:17 pm)