Mapping the Galaxy, and watching our backyard

Just to reinforce the fact that the U.S. isn’t the only one doing important space research, the ESA (or European Space Agency) is embarking on one of its most ambitious projects to date. The Gaia program aims to compile the most precise map of one thousand million stars in our Galaxy. Gaia will carry two of the most sensitive cameras ever made and is due to launch in 2010.

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