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Watch live: first impressions of Gaia data release 3

on 10 June 2022

The Romanian Space Agency (ROSA) invites you to join European Space Agency and Gaia mission representatives on Monday 13 June for a preview of the third major data release. This world-class treasure trove is set to reveal new insights into our Solar System, our Milky Way galaxy, and our wider cosmic neighbourhood. The release will take place live, from 08:00–09:00 UTC (10:00–11:00 CEST), on ESA Web TV.

Gaia is ESA’s mission to create the most accurate and complete multi-dimensional map of the Milky Way. This allows astronomers to reconstruct our home galaxy’s past and future evolution over billions of years, better understand the lifecycle of stars, and our place in the Universe.

Gaia’s third full data set contains new and improved details for almost two billion objects in our Milky Way. The catalogue includes new information, including chemical compositions, stellar temperatures, colours, masses, ages, and the speed at which stars move towards or away from us. Much of this information is revealed by spectroscopy, a technique in which the starlight is split into its constituent colours (like a rainbow). It also lists special subsets of stars, like those that change brightness over time. Also new in this data set is the largest catalogue yet of binary stars in the Milky Way, thousands of Solar System objects such as asteroids and moons of planets, and millions of galaxies and quasars outside the Milky Way.

In Romania, the Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy is involved in four working groups of the CU9 (Coordination Unit 9) with regards to access to the GAIA catalogue, in the global GAIA-FUN-SSO network for tracking Solar System objects discovered by the Gaia Mission and in the Gaia Science Alert working group.

More details here

Image credit: Spacecraft: ESA/ATG medialab; Milky Way: ESA/Gaia/DPAC; CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO. Acknowledgement: A. Moitinho.