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A Mission to Map the Galaxy

First comprehensive report on the European Space Agency's Gaia mission for a general audience

  • Presents the scientific results available to date
  • Places the mission in its overall historical and scientific context
  • Explains the mission's importance and likely scientific consequences

Gaia mission that wants to meet the needs of a general audience. Gaia to date, and examining how the collected data will be used and their likely scientific consequences.

The Gaia mission seeks to provide a complete and high-precision map of the locations, distances, and motions of the stars in our galaxy. It aims to revolutionize our knowledge on the origin and evolution of the Milky Way, on the effects of mysterious dark matter, and on the birth and evolution of stars and extrasolar planets. The Gaia satellite was launched in December 2013 and has a foreseen operational lifetime of five to six years, culminating in a final stellar catalog in the early 2020s. This book will appeal to all who have an interest in the mission and the profound impact that it wants to have on astronomy.

The author Gabriella Bernardi holds a degree in physics and a masters degree in scientific communication. After having worked at Alenia Spazio in Turin (Rosetta mission), she decided to devote all her time to science, and especially astronomy.

The author Alberto Vecchiato is an astrophysicist who holds a degree in Physics and a PhD in Space Science and Technology. He has worked at the Astrophysical Observatory of Turin, Italy, since 2001, where his main activity has always been on the ESA Gaia mission.

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