Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A BILLION Plus Stars!

Hey Space Placers!

Look at this image and click on it for a larger view - be sure to go to the link to get full resolution by clicking on the image:

Over a BILLION stars mapped in our Milky Way Galaxy
Credit: ESA Gaia Mission
What you are seeing is over a BILLION stars of our Milky Way Galaxy.

As stated by the European Space Agency,  the Gaia spacecraft over the past 14 months has "pinned down the precise position on the sky and the brightness of 1142 million stars. As a taster of the richer catalogue to come in the near future, today’s release also features the distances and the motions across the sky for more than two million stars.".

I have included the annotated image because it contains so many of my sky favorites, especially the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, Andromeda and Triangulum Galaxies and M-42 in Orion as well.

In a word it is "Amazing".

It is the most complete mapping project of our Galaxy to date and will only get better as Gaia obtains more observations.

Sky Guy in VA


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