The European Space Agency, or ESA, recently released detailed information on nearly 2 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy.
Data is being collected in an effort to create the most complete map of our galaxy to date.
Data were collected from the Gaia ESA Space Observatory.
Astronomers hope to use the data to better understand how stars are born and die and how the Milky Way has changed over billions of years.
The data includes new information such as the age, size, temperature and chemical properties of stars. This information can be used, for example, to find out which stars were born in another galaxy and then transferred to the Milky Way.
“This is incredible gold mine for astronomy, “said Antonella Valenari. She helped lead a group of 450 scientists and engineers. They spent years converting measurements collected by the space observatory into usable information.
Gay also managed to find more than 100,000 stars. ESA compared the earthquakes to the big ones tsunami who go over the stars. They seem to change the brightness of the stars in a very short period of time. The events enabled scientists to measure the density of stars, the interior rotation and internal temperature, said astrophysicist Connie Aerts.
Scientists have collected only information about about one percent of the stars of the Milky Way. But the Gaia mission already provides enough information for about 1,600 scientific publications a year.
Project scientist Timo Prousti said that a large number of observed stars makes it more likely that scientists will make discoveries.
“You have to look at a lot of objects to get it Needle in a haystack,” he said.
Josef Aschbacher is the head of ESA. He said the new data allows astronomers to understand the forces in the galaxy. For example, it could show how our solar system moves within the Milky Way.
“It is enabling things that would never have been possible without this large amount of data, “he said.
The Gaia data now being released also includes information on 800,000 binary stars, which are stars in orbit around another star. There are also data on several new planets outside the solar system, hundreds of thousands of asteroids in the solar system and millions of objects outside our galaxy.
I’m Dan Novak.
Dan Novak adapted this story for Voice of America Learning English based on reports from the Associated Press.
The words in this story
gold mine – n. something that produces a lot of something that is valuable
tsunami – n. a huge ocean wave caused by an underwater earthquake
rotation – n. the movement of rotation around a central point
Needle in a haystack – ekpression one important thing hidden in a lot of unimportant material
enable – v. make something possible or able to be done
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