EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Hipparcos satellite. Artist's impression of the Hipparcos astronomical satellite against a back- ground of star trails. Hipparcos, or 'High Precision Parallax Collecting Satellite', measured the positions, distance (parallax) and brightness- es of over 120,000 stars with 10-100 times more accuracy than that of ground-based observations. The satellite also found several thousand new binary systems, where two stars are in close orbit around each other. Due to radiation damage, the satellite was shut down on 15 August 1993.
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