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Monday, October 3, 2016

It was created the most complex map of the Milky Way . It shows that our galaxy is much more extensive than previously thought

Milky Way  ( 
Researchers say they underestimated the number of stars existing within our galaxy.

European Space Agency released the most detailed map to date of the Milky Way. The digital representation depicting the positions of no less than 1.142 billion stars, is the first product of Gaia space observatory, launched three years ago. Among the identified cosmic objects there were about 400 million stars unknown, which means that our galaxy is much more extensive than previously thought in the moment.

,, This map released today the extraordinary density of the stars studied by Gaia indicates and confirms that space observatory has collected valuable information in its first year of activity. Although current data are preliminary, we will do our best to put them to the community of astronomers to use them as soon as possible, "says Timo Prussia, a researcher involved in the project Gaia.

Map presented by the European Space Agency experts is the result of the cumulative effort of not less than 450 researchers. Comparing observations with the help of Gaia observer to those shown in the Hipparcos and Tycho catalogs-2, scientists have been able to estimate distances and movements carried about 2 million stars. The result: the most comprehensive picture of the movement of the stars obtained so far.

Map Milky Way obtained by European astronomers (Photo:
Gaia Space Observatory is located about 1.5 million kilometers from Earth and is equipped with a 1 miliiard pixels capable of measuring the diameter of a human hair from a distance of 1,000 kilometers. Vehicle mission will last nearly 5 years and aims at mapping the Milky Way, which astronomers assume that accommodates no less than 100 billion stars.

Although experts are confident that the Centre will not be able to analyze these cosmic objects over 5 years, they say, for now, the result is very good, given that Gaia has begun to map the proper since July 2014.

,, It appears we underestimated the number of stars. We think there are about 2-2.5 billion, "said van Leeuwen Floor, researcher at Cambridge University.

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