The European Space Agency (ESA) published the largest and most detailed chemical map of the Earth to date. Milky Way through the GAIA mission.
This allows astronomers to reconstruct the structure of our home galaxy and past evolution over billions of years, and to better understand the life cycle of stars and Earth’s place in the Universe.
The Gaia UK team at the University of Cambridge, along with work from University College London, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Leicester and the University of Bristol have played a key role in this most detailed survey of the Milky Way to date. date, providing the content of photometric and spectrophotometric data.
Gaia’s Data version 3 (Gaia DR3) contains new and improved details for nearly two billion stars in our galaxy. The catalog includes new information including chemical compositions, stellar temperatures, colors, masses, ages, and radial velocities, the speed at which stars are moving toward or away from us.
“This release represents a major step forward in our creation of a detailed census of our Milky Way galaxy, fully characterizing a significant sample of its stellar components,” said Dr. Nic Walton of Cambridge from the Institute of Astronomy, and member of the ESA gaia science team. “Analogous to the 100,000 Genomes project in biology, we can now write hundreds of millions of stars, allowing us to pinpoint the birth-to-death life cycles of those stars, and the incredible history and future of our Milky Way.” Milky”.
Dr George Seabroke of the UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory also commented that this will be highly relevant to the study of stars.
“Gaia’s chemical catalog of six million stars is ten times larger than previous terrestrial catalogs, so this is revolutionary. Gaia data releases tell us where the stars were located and how they are moving. Now we also know what many of these stars are made of.”
One of the most surprising discoveries to emerge from the new data is that Gaia can detect stellar earthquakes, small movements on the surface of a star, which change the shapes of stars, something the observatory was not originally built to do.