Mars-Avril 2019European Way of Photonics
|Page(s)||38 - 43|
|Section||FOCUS: PHOTONIC TECHNIQUES AND TECHNOLOGIES|
|Published online||01 May 2019|
ESA’s Gaia mission: a billion stars with a billion pixels
Directorate of Science, European Space Agency, ESA/ESTEC, The Netherlands
2 Directorate of Earth Observation, European Space Agency, ESA/ESTEC, The Netherlands
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Astrometry is the astronomical discipline of measuring the positions, and changes therein, of celestial bodies. Accurate astrometry from the ground is limited by the blurring effects induced by the Earth’s atmosphere. Since decades, Europe has been at the forefront of making astrometric measurements from space. The European Space Agency (ESA) launched the first satellite dedicated to astrometry, named Hipparcos, in 1989, culminating in the release of the Hipparcos Catalogue containing astrometric data for 117 955 stars in 1997. Since mid 2014, Hipparcos’ successor, Gaia, has been collecting astrometric data, with a 100 times improved precision, for 10 000 times as many stars.
© EDP Sciences, 2019
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