The map of the Milky Way to study the universe

The map of the Milky Way to study the universe
The 3D map of the Milky Way released this week is the most detailed ever. The astronomers of the European Space Agency (ESA) have made it available thanks to the Gaia satellite launched in 2013 and which is in orbit about 1,500 km above our heads. It will be useful for those engaged in research concerning the origins of our solar system and the rate of expansion of the whole universe.

ESA: the 3D map of the galaxy, for research

Tracing the position and movement of the stars has been and will be possible to investigate the processes occurring beyond the borders of our galaxy. For example, a faint signal attributed to a faint stream of stars detected between two nearby galaxies indicates that the Large Magellanic Cloud is slowly devouring the Small Magellanic Cloud. Below is a translated comment from Nicholas Walton, a member of the ESA operating team at the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge.

What we do is make a very detailed map of the universe in three dimensions, with stars which are hundreds of light-years away from us.

Many of the elements intercepted by Gaia in her deep space scanning work are quasars, extremely bright galactic nuclei generated by the friction caused by gas and dust falling into a black hole with a mass equal to billions of times that of the sun. For further information on the map and the techniques used to compile it, please refer to the link to the source at the end of the article.

Source: ESA

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