Science & Exploration


Join European Space Agency and Gaia mission representatives on Monday 13 June for a preview of the third major data release. This world-class treasure trove is set to reveal new insights into our Solar System, our Milky Way galaxy, and our wider cosmic neighbourhood.

Follow live on ESA Web TV from 08:00–09:00 UTC (10:00–11:00 CEST).

Gaia – ESA’s billion star surveyer

Gaia in a nutshell

Gaia is ESA’s mission to create the most accurate and complete multi-dimensional map of the Milky Way. This allows astronomers to reconstruct our home galaxy’s past and future evolution over billions of years, better understand the lifecycle of stars, and our place in the Universe.

What’s new in this release?

Gaia’s third full data set contains new and improved details for almost two billion objects in our Milky Way. The catalogue includes new information, including chemical compositions, stellar temperatures, colours, masses, ages, and the speed at which stars move towards or away from us. Much of this information is revealed by spectroscopy, a technique in which the starlight is split into its constituent colours (like a rainbow). It also lists special subsets of stars, like those that change brightness over time. Also new in this data set is the largest catalogue yet of binary stars in the Milky Way, thousands of Solar System objects such as asteroids and moons of planets, and millions of galaxies and quasars outside the Milky Way.

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