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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Gaia's gigantic galactic goals

Gaia (Artist's Impression, uploaded by Pippo skaio) 
Way out in space, at a point 1.5 million kilometers from Earth known simply as L2, the satellite Gaia is carrying out “its surveillance of the Galaxy.”

Forbes reports that Gaia’s findings are slated to increase our current knowledge thousands of times over. Stars, planets, asteroids and comets will be scrutinized by the “two telescopes, photon detectors, video processing unit, Sun shield, and other instruments” on board.

One expected result is the mapping of a billion stars, approximately one-hundredth of the total number of such luminaries within the Milky Way.

Even more ambitious are the plans to test “Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, the space-time continuum, and gravitational waves…”

It's one thing to chart heavenly bodies, yet quite another to reach for Heaven itself.


Copyright August 4, 2015 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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