Tomaž Zwitter: Recent results from the Gaia satellite
Recent results from the Gaia satellite
Fakulteta za matematiko in fiziko UL
Gaia is an ambitious ongoing mission of the European Space Agency. A month ago it published a catalogue of spatial positions and velocities of stars (and other objects) which is orders of magnitude larger and more accurate than available so far. This allows for detailed studies of the structure and evolution of our Galaxy as one of typical galaxies in the universe and gauge the values of cosmological parameters. The talk will mention some of the technical challenges and summarise the contents of the catalogue with its immediate scientific applications. It will also illustrate how the results can be combined with measurements of chemical composition and detailed motions, as harvested by the ongoing ground-based spectroscopic surveys GALAH, Gaia-ESO, and RAVE. Astrophysicists can now build a time machine, showing evolution of a system with a billion stars. But these stars are not equal, each of them has a personal character which is usually hidden in a huge volume of data and related uncertainties. A challenge is therefore to automate the classification process, and this experience of harvesting large and diverse databases can be useful much beyond astronomy.
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