‘Gaia’ satellite ready to operate 1.5 million kms from Earth
European Space Agency (ESA) satellite ‘Gaia’, the billion star surveyor, launched in 2013, has reached its intended location 1.5 million kilometers from Earth and is ready to start operation.
Gaia’s work will include:
- Surveying a billion stars in our Milky Way galaxy to develop the most precise 3-D map ever.
- To track thousands of exoplanets, comets, asteroids, failed stars, exploding stars and even quasars.
- Scanning each of the billion stars for an average of 70 times each over five years which means 40 million observations per day.
- Measuring key physical properties of each star, including its brightness, temperature and chemical composition.
- By the end of its five-year mission, Gaia would have gathered 1 Petabyte (1 million Gigabytes).