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

12 rare Einstein crosses discovered with Gaia
7 April 2021

Thanks to ESA's star mapping spacecraft Gaia and machine learning, astronomers have discovered 12 quasars whose light is so strongly deflected by foreground galaxies that they are each visible as four distinct images, called an 'Einstein cross'.

Gaia's new data takes us to the Milky Way's anticentre and beyond
3 December 2020

The motion of stars in the outskirts of our galaxy hints at significant changes in the history of the Milky Way. This and other equally fascinating results come from a set of papers that demonstrate the quality of ESA's Gaia Early third Data Release (EDR3), which is made public today.

Galactic crash may have triggered Solar System formation
25 May 2020

The formation of the Sun, the Solar System and the subsequent emergence of life on Earth may be a consequence of a collision between our galaxy, the Milky Way, and a smaller galaxy called Sagittarius, discovered in the 1990s to be orbiting our galactic home.

Milky Way's warp caused by galactic collision, Gaia suggests
2 March 2020

Astronomers have pondered for years why our galaxy, the Milky Way, is warped. Data from ESA's star-mapping satellite Gaia suggest the distortion might be caused by an ongoing collision with another, smaller, galaxy, which sends ripples through the galactic disc like a rock thrown into water.

Global Gaia campaign reveals secrets of stellar pair
21 January 2020

A 500-day global observation campaign spearheaded more than three years ago by ESA’s galaxy-mapping powerhouse Gaia has provided unprecedented insights into the binary system of stars that caused an unusual brightening of an even more distant star.

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.

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.
24-Sep-2021 12:20 UT

ShortUrl Portlet

Shortcut URL

https://sci.esa.int/gaia

Twitter_esagaia

Gaia Archive

Outreach Resources