Gaia space probe testing

Gaia space probe testing

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Credit: S Corvaja/EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Gaia space probe being tested at the Intespace Astrium facility in Toulouse, France. Gaia will travel to the second Lagrangian point (L2), located about 1.6 million kilometres from the Earth in the direction opposite to the Sun. From there, it will scan the sky for five years and measure the position and properties of a billion stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. It will also be used to detect extrasolar planets, asteroids within the solar system, and distant quasars, as well as testing the Theory of General Relativity. Gaia was launched in December 2013.

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