image 21-August-2019 12:21:22

Gaia white dwarf discoveries

Date: 16 May 2019
Satellite: Gaia
Copyright: ESA/Gaia/DPAC

All-sky view showing the position and brightness of some 230 000 white dwarfs discovered with ESA's Gaia satellite. White dwarfs are the remnants left behind when medium-sized stars like our Sun reach the end of their lives.

Prior to the second Gaia data release, made public in 2018, only about 30 000 white dwarfs had been discovered. Using date from Gaia, 486 641 white dwarf candidates have been detected, with 260 000 of these being high-confidence candidates, as reported in a catalogue compiled by Nicola Pietro Gentile Fusillo and collaborators. Discovering more of these mysterious objects enables us to gain better knowledge of their properties, improving our understanding of how they fit into the overall picture of stellar evolution.

Click here for a video showing the motions of these white dwarfs.

More information: Shedding light on white dwarfs – the future of stars like our Sun

Acknowledgement: Gaia Sky; S. Jordan / T. Sagristà, Astronomisches Rechen-Institut, Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg, Germany


Last Update: 16 May 2019

For further information please contact: SciTech.editorial@esa.int

Related Videos

See Also