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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/7/2014 (2 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Gaia mission set to start.

This stage is set for a mission that will make the most precise 3D map of the Milky Way galaxy ever. Known as the Gaia, the European satellite was launched into space last December, and the is functioning perfectly.

Gaia will map as many as one billion stars around Earth.

Gaia will map as many as one billion stars around Earth.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/7/2014 (2 months ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Gaia, map, milky way, galaxy, distances, ESA, stars


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Engineers are firing up the two main telescopes the satellite will use to pinpoint the position of stars throughout the Milky Way galaxy. The Gaia satellite, as it is known, will make measurements that are so precise it's the equivalent of detecting a coin on the surface of the moon from Earth-- if that coin happened to be edge-on.

Using the satellite, astronomers will be able to tell with pinpoint accuracy the distance to stars, the direction of their motion, as well as map in reverse, meaning they can determine where the stars have come from.

Offer prayers for all humanity.

The Gaia mission intends to map no less than 1 billion stars around planet Earth, in our region of the galaxy.

Of course, the Milky Way galaxy is much larger than a billion stars. Our galaxy contains anywhere from 100 to 400 billion stars. That means the Gaia mission, as impressive as it is, it will only be mapping less than 1% of the Milky Way's stars.

The satellite will also detect distant supernova in faraway galaxies, events that allow astronomers on Earth to measure distances between galaxies. Astronomers will also be able to make 3-D models of nearby galaxies such as the Large Magellanic Cloud.

At the conclusion of the mission, astronomers will have an excellent reference they can use for subsequent missions. By having an accurate map of the night sky, they can detect new objects, as well as predict the future positions of objects in the sky, using the Gaia mission as a reference.

The mission is also expected to detect new asteroids, which could pose a potential threat to Earth, as well as failed stars - the stars which failed to ignite and shine, and possibly even mysterious rogue planets, meaning planets floating through space without their parent stars.

The Gaia mission is expected to begin surveying the galaxy within the next several weeks.


Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...

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Pope Francis calls for your 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women:
That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lord’s invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.



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