EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / GAIA / DPAC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY / GAIA / DPAC / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Milky Way map from Gaia satellite. Rectangular projection using galactic co-ordinates of some two million stars in the Milky Way galaxy, based on observations from the European Space Agency (ESA)'s Gaia satellite. These stars are a small portion of the hundreds of billions of stars in the Milky Way. The most prominent feature is the bright band running across centre, the central band of stars in the Milky Way's galactic plane. Darker regions along the galactic plane are clouds of interstellar gas and dust. The stripes are where missing information will be filled in during Gaia's five-year mission. This map is known as the Tycho-Gaia Astrometric Solution, one of the products of the first Gaia data release.
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