Today’s Solutions: September 25, 2022

There are still so many mysteries of our universe to unveil. Incredible machines such as the James Webb Space Telescope and NASA’s Perseverance rover are helping us slowly but surely put the whole cosmic picture together.

Another impressive feat of humankind’s efforts in space is the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Gaia mission. The Gaia telescope has been collecting data since July 2014 via its two optical space telescopes, which are slowly revolving around the machine’s axis every six hours. These instruments allow for accurate calculation of stellar positions and movement and have given various vital insights into asteroids, exoplanets, galaxies, and physics.

Data release 3 from Gaia, includes the largest binary star catalog for the Milky Way as well as more than 150,000 Solar System objects – largely asteroids. This large amount of information gathered from asteroids –  including their center of mass, color, rotation, detailed space, and more – will significantly advance our knowledge of these flying space rocks. These measurements are important to incorporate into computer and physics models on Earth to improve their accuracy.

Gaia is also expected to detect up to 20,000 giant exoplanets (planets revolving around a star) by measuring the gravitational properties of their host star. The telescope has already detected the nearest Jupiter-like exoplanet, just 12 light-years away! Gaia has also been able to measure the precise motion of stars within the Milky Way, allowing their mass to be precisely calculated, while also allowing a more accurate prediction of its past and future!

This data release from the space telescope will be extremely valuable in helping scientists conduct more accurate work about our universe, with more than 50 scientific articles being published utilizing its data. Who knows what interesting future information the Gaia telescope will collect but looking at its track record, we’re sure it will be extremely valuable.

Source study: European Space AgencyGaia Data Release 3

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