Untangling the Milky Way’s evolution through big data


Untangling the evolution of our home galaxy, the Milky Way, is a challenge similar to mapping the human genome, according to the European Space Agency (ESA). ESA’s galaxy mapper, Gaia, takes trillions of measurements of 2 billion of the brightest stars in the sky. Here, we look at what it takes to unpick those measurements to reveal the galaxy’s secrets.

On June 13, the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC), a collaboration of 450 European astronomers and engineers supporting the galaxy-mapping endeavor, released what DPAC chair Anthony Brown described as “the richest set of astronomical data ever published.”

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Originally published at www.space.com

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