Fact Sheet

Gaia is an ambitious mission to chart a three-dimensional map of our Galaxy, the Milky Way, in the process revealing the composition, formation and evolution of the Galaxy. Gaia will provide unprecedented positional and radial velocity measurements with the accuracies needed to produce a stereoscopic and kinematic census of about one billion stars in our Galaxy and throughout the Local Group. This amounts to about 1 per cent of the Galactic stellar population.

News

News

Gaia untangles the starry strings of the Milky Way
28 August 2019

Rather than leaving home young, as expected, stellar 'siblings' prefer to stick together in long-lasting, string-like groups, finds a new study of data from ESA's Gaia spacecraft.

Astronomers spy Europa blocking distant star – thanks to Gaia
25 July 2019On 31 March 2017, Jupiter's moon Europa passed in front of a background star – a rare event that was captured for the first time by ground-based telescopes thanks to data provided by ESA's Gaia spacecraft.
Gaia starts mapping our galaxy’s bar
16 July 2019The first direct measurement of the bar-shaped collection of stars at the centre of our Milky Way galaxy has been made by combining data from ESA’s Gaia mission with complementary observations from ground- and space-based telescopes.
Gaia's biggest operation since launch
15 July 2019On Tuesday 16 July, teams at ESA's mission control will perform an 'orbit change manoeuvre' on the Gaia space observatory – the biggest operation since the spacecraft was launched in 2013.
Observing Gaia from Earth to improve its star maps
2 May 2019While ESA's Gaia mission has been surveying more than one billion stars from space, astronomers have been regularly monitoring the satellite's position in the sky with telescopes across the world, including the European Southern Observatory in Chile, to further refine Gaia's orbit and ultimately improve the accuracy of its stellar census.
Hubble & Gaia accurately weigh the Milky Way [heic1905]
7 March 2019In a striking example of multi-mission astronomy, measurements from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the ESA Gaia mission have been combined to improve the estimate of the mass of our home galaxy the Milky Way: 1.5 trillion solar masses.

Latest Articles

Latest Articles

Shedding light on white dwarfs – the future of stars like our Sun
17 May 2019ESA's Gaia mission has been busy mapping our Milky Way galaxy since 2014, and just over one year ago released its second batch of data on more than one billion stars. Since then, astronomers have been exploring this catalogue to reveal a huge amount of new information about the cosmos. One type of object that has seen an abundance of new...
Rethinking everything we thought we knew about star clusters
26 February 2019ESA's Gaia satellite is on a mission: to map and characterise more than one billion of the stars in the Milky Way. Many of these stars reside in complex, eye-catching clusters scattered throughout our Galaxy and, by studying these stellar groupings, Gaia is revealing much about the formation and evolution of stars in our cosmic home and...

Spotlight On ...

Spotlight On ...

Gaia's stellar family portrait
14 May 2018Explore Gaia's second data release with this interactive visualisation of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, the family portrait of stars in our Milky Way.

Watch online

Watch online

Replay of the Gaia Data Release 2 briefing
25 April 2018The long-awaited second data release from ESA's Gaia mission has been published. Watch the replay of ESA's 'Science is everywhere' media briefing at ILA, on 25 April 2018, including the Gaia announcement.
22-Sep-2019 12:10 UT

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