Search Results for: gaia second data release

Large several-armed spiral with bar in middle and labels of areas.

Gaia’s 3rd data release: Gazing toward the galactic anticenter

The 3rd data release from the Gaia mission will provide astronomers with a “treasure trove” of information they didn’t have before. As they analyze Gaia’s data in the years ahead, we’re sure to learn new and surprising things about our home galaxy, the Milky Way.

Artist's concept of strings of stars - sibling stars, or star families - within 3,000 light-years of the sun.

Gaia tracks sibling stars in Milky Way

Rather than leaving home young, as expected, star siblings are more likely to stick together in long-lasting, string-like star groups, according to a new study of data from ESA’s Gaia spacecraft.

An artist's conception of a face-on spiral galaxy with a central bar.

Gaia starts mapping our Milky Way’s bar

“We knew the Milky Way had a bar, like other barred spiral galaxies. But we only had indirect indications from the motions of stars and gas. This is the first time we see the galactic bar in 3D space, based on geometric measurements of stellar distances.”

Over 100 new exoplanets from Kepler and Gaia

At least 18 of the new planets are less than 2 times larger than the Earth, and are likely to have rocky compositions with atmospheres comparable to Earth’s.

Gaia spots enormous ghost galaxy on Milky Way’s outskirts

Gaia satellite data revealed the galaxy, which has avoided detection until now, thanks to its extremely low density and hiding place behind the shroud of the Milky Way’s disk.

Gaia reveals stars flying between galaxies

Only a small number of hypervelocity stars have ever been discovered. Now ESA’s Gaia mission has revealed 20 more.

Gaia sees LMC stars as galactic fingerprint

It resembles a fingerprint, doesn’t it? But it’s really a galaxy, rotating. This image is from ESA’s Gaia space observatory. It shows the rotation of the Large Magellanic Cloud.

Gaia’s 2nd data release: 1.7 billion stars!

Why did ESA’s director of science say Gaia’s observations are “redefining the foundations” of astronomy? Also, links to virtual reality resources made possible by Gaia, available for you to explore.

Gaia’s view of Large Magellanic Cloud

The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), one of the nearest galaxies to our Milky Way, as viewed by ESA’s Gaia satellite after its first 14 months of operations.

New Milky Way family tree reveals a chaotic history

Scientists in Germany have created a new family tree of our Milky Way galaxy, showing how it has grown over billions of years from chaotic mergers with smaller galaxies.

Bright, fuzzy white and reddish stars on dark background.

Did the Wow! signal come from this star?

Where did the famous mystery Wow! signal, detected in 1977, come from? Astronomer Alberto Caballero might have pinpointed the host star. It’s a sunlike star 1,800 light-years away, in the direction of the center of our Milky Way.

Deneb is distant and very luminous

When you gaze at the bright star Deneb, you’re gazing across thousands of light-years of space.

Rocky planet with bright star in background.

Is there a 2nd planet orbiting Proxima Centauri?

Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our sun, may have a second planet, according to researchers from the National Institute of Astrophysics. If confirmed, it would be an ideal candidate for direct imaging by new upcoming space telescopes.

An image of Betelgeuse taken at sub-millimeter wavelengths taken by the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).

How far is Betelgeuse?

Recent speculation that Betelgeuse might be on the verge of going supernova prompted many to ask: how far away is it? But getting a distance measurement for this star has been no easy task.

When our Milky Way merged with an ancient dwarf galaxy

Analysis of measurements via the Gaia space telescope – of star positions, brightnesses and distances – has let astronomers probe a merger 10 billion years ago between the primitive Milky Way and a dwarf galaxy called Gaia-Enceladus.

Photographic image showing flat galactic disk. The inset shows dark lanes of dust, where stars form.

Star formation burst created 50% of Milky Way disk stars

Analysis of data from the Gaia satellite shows a powerful burst of star formation – a stellar baby boom – in our Milky Way galaxy 2 to 3 billion years ago. This single burst might have created half the stars in the galaxy’s flat disk.

When will the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies collide?

The Andromeda galaxy is the nearest large spiral to our Milky Way. Astronomers have suspected for some time it will eventually collide with our Milky Way. Now – thanks to the Gaia satellite – they know more.

M13, a globular cluster in Hercules

More globular star clusters found at Milky Way’s heart   

We think of globular clusters as being scattered far from the galaxy’s central regions, in the great spherical halo of our Milky Way. But astronomers are finding them much closer to the galactic center.

Citizen scientists discover rare exoplanet

Last week, citizen scientists with Zooniverse’s Exoplanet Exoplorers announced K2-288Bb – a type of exoplanet considered rare so far. The finding might shed new light on how planets form.

At last, a planet for Barnard’s Star

Astronomers are “99 percent confident” that this exoplanet is real and not a false detection. The planet for Barnard’s star – 2nd closest star system to our sun – appears to be a cold super-Earth.

Large and Small Magellanic Clouds collided!

Star motions in the Small Magellanic Cloud – as revealed by the Gaia space observatory – confirm that this small satellite galaxy of our Milky Way collided in the past with its larger neighbor.

Our Milky Way almost collided with another galaxy

Astronomers found a snail-shaped substructure of stars in our larger Milky Way galaxy. It indicates the Milky Way is still enduring the effects of a near-collision that set millions of stars moving like ripples on a pond.

Watch thousands of asteroids orbiting our sun

Both NASA and ESA space missions have just released new videos plotting the orbits of tens of thousands of asteroids (and comets) orbiting our sun.

Measuring universe expansion reveals mystery

Is something unpredicted going on in the depths of space?

Exploring the triggers of cosmic disaster

A new study uses data from ESA’s Gaia satellite to give the first systematic estimate of how often passing stars nudge comets from the Oort Cloud and send them plunging toward the inner solar system.

Astronomers track hypervelocity stars

New video shows 6 hypervelocity stars, zipping from Milky Way center to outskirts. An interaction with our galaxy’s central, supermassive black hole might have kicked them into fast motion.

How far away is Deneb?

The star Deneb – part of the famous Summer Triangle – is one of the most distant stars you can see with your eye alone. Why don’t we know its distance precisely?


Unique chemistry reveals eruption of ancient materials once at Earth’s surface

New study supports theory that Earth’s earliest crust was folded back into its mantle and returned to the surface in volcanoes.