From July 2014 to May 2016, Gaia recorded the positions, movements and distances of more than one billion stars, analyzed the surrounding dwarf galaxies and took measurements of stars outside the Milky Way. By studying Gaia's stellar movement and population data, researchers hope to better understand the formation and evolution of the Milky Way.
"The observations collected by Gaia are redefining the foundations of astronomy," said ESA science director Günther Hasinger. launching. "Gaia is an ambitious mission that is based on enormous human collaboration to make sense of a large volume of highly complex data, demonstrates the need for long-term projects to ensure progress in space science and technology and to implement scientific missions even more. daring of the coming decades. "
Launched in 2013, Gaia compiled the movements and distances of two million stars during its first year in operation. Now, with the star data amounting to billions, Anthony Brown, president of the Executive of the Consortium of Analysis and Data Processing of Gaia, has a team of 450 scientists and software engineers to catalog everything.