Most detailed 3D map ever of Milky Way includes nearly 2 billion stars

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The map measures stars closer to the edge of the Milky Way than ever before.


YouTube/ESA

You can’t just drive a Google Maps car around the Milky Way to diagram it. It’s fortunate, then, that new information gathered by the European Space Agency’s Gaia observatory offers the most detailed map yet of the galaxy. The project’s map now includes almost 2 billion stars, and it helps the agency trace the Milky Way’s history.

“The new Gaia data promise to be a treasure trove for astronomers,” Jos de Bruijne, ESA’s Gaia deputy project scientist, said in a statement.

The new information not only brings the total number of stars mapped over seven years up to close to 2 billion, but it includes “a detailed census of more than 300,000 stars in our cosmic neighborhood,” meaning stars within 326 light-years of the sun. That 300,000 number is believed to be 92% of

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Astronomers to release most accurate data ever for nearly two billion stars — ScienceDaily

On 3 December an international team of astronomers will announce the most detailed ever catalogue of the stars in a huge swathe of our Milky Way galaxy. The measurements of stellar positions, movement, brightness and colours are in the third early data release from the European Space Agency’s Gaia space observatory and will be publicly available. Initial findings include the first optical measurement of the acceleration of the Solar system. The data set, and early scientific discoveries, will be presented at a special briefing hosted by the Royal Astronomical Society.

Launched in 2013, Gaia operates in an orbit around the so-called Lagrange 2 (L2) point, located 1.5 million kilometres behind the Earth in the direction away from the Sun. At L2 the gravitational forces between the Earth and Sun are balanced, so the spacecraft stays in a stable position, allowing long-term essentially unobstructed views of the sky.

The primary objective

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The Milky Way and beyond: Scientists publish new data on nearly 2 billion stars

As of today (Dec. 3), scientists have 1.8 billion local stars at their fingertips.

That bounty is thanks to the European Space Agency’s Gaia mission, which has spent 6.5 years tracking stars in our Milky Way galaxy and beyond. Using the spacecraft’s observations, scientists can create a precise 3D map of stars and find patterns playing out across the galaxy.

“Essentially all of astronomy benefits from this one way or another because it’s very fundamental data,” Anthony Brown, an astronomer at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands and chair of the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium Executive team, told Space.com. “It’s a very, very broad survey mission.”

Related: This 3D color map of 1.7 billion stars in the Milky Way is the best ever made

This image shows the paths of 40,000 stars located within 326 light-years of our Milky Way galaxy over the next 400,000 years
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Astronomers spotted colliding neutron stars that may have formed a magnetar

A surprisingly bright cosmic blast might have marked the birth of a magnetar. If so, it would be the first time that astronomers have witnessed the formation of this kind of rapidly spinning, extremely magnetized stellar corpse.

That dazzling flash of light was made when two neutron stars collided and merged into one massive object, astronomers report in an upcoming issue of the Astrophysical Journal. Though the especially bright light could mean that a magnetar was produced, other explanations are possible, the researchers say.

Astrophysicist Wen-fai Fong of Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and colleagues first spotted the site of the neutron star crash as a burst of gamma-ray light detected with NASA’s orbiting Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory on May 22. Follow-up observations in X-ray, visible and infrared wavelengths of light showed that the gamma rays were accompanied by a characteristic glow called a kilonova.

Kilonovas are thought to

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Meet 40 rising stars on Madison Avenue changing advertising in 2020

  • Meet 40 rising stars of Madison Avenue, Business Insider’s list of up-and-coming talent in advertising.
  • They span roles ranging from media and creative to strategy, account management, and talent.
  • These pros come from traditional ad agencies and consulting companies, production companies expanding into marketing services, and specialty agencies catering to direct-to-consumer brands.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Introducing this year’s rising stars of Madison Avenue.

These are early- and mid-career advertising professionals that are shaking things up at their companies and beyond, through everything from standout ads, campaigns that reach consumers in new ways, or data that helps their clients uncover new consumer insights.

Criteria and methodology

This is the third year Business Insider is recognizing rising talent in ad agencies across departments. (To see last year’s list, head here.)

We considered people from a variety of roles and backgrounds, including media and creative, strategy, and entertainment marketing.

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Puzzling ‘cold quasar’ forming new stars in spite of active galactic nucleus — ScienceDaily

Researchers from the University of Kansas have described a galaxy more than 5.25 billion light years away undergoing a rarely seen stage in its galactic life cycle. Their findings recently were published in the Astrophysical Journal.

The galaxy, dubbed CQ 4479, shows characteristics that normally don’t coexist: an X-ray luminous active galactic nuclei (AGN) and a cold gas supply fueling high star formation rates.

“Massive galaxies, such as our own Milky Way, host a supermassive black hole at their hearts — these are black holes that grow by accreting interstellar gas onto themselves to become more massive,” said Kevin Cooke, lead author and postdoctoral researcher in KU’s Department of Physics & Astronomy. “The end of galactic growth is thought to happen when this gas accretion onto the black hole occurs in sufficient quantities that it produces a tremendous amount of energy. Then, all of that energy surrounding the black

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Meet the rising stars of real estate from CRE, brokerages, and beyond

Minjia Yan, 24, Millennium Commercial Properties

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Millennium Commercial Properties


Minjia Yan is giving Sin City some soul. As an associate at Millennium Commercial Properties, a Las Vegas-based commercial real-estate firm, Yan has played a big role in its initiatives to build affordable housing for homeless and low-income individuals and families in the area.

She has supported the acquisition and development teams in underwriting projects, securing financing for transactions, and establishing public-private partnership collaborations with both the city and the state of Nevada.

Vegas may be known for the bright lights of the Strip, but Yan also emphasizes that its homeless population is also significant and worthy of attention. Vegas is ranked the worst metropolitan area in providing affordable housing, Yan said, and the state of Nevada has been the worst state in providing affordable housing for a number of consecutive years. She and Millennium have taken action to combat the

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QF’s Stars Of Science Invites Aspiring Innovators To Apply For Season 13

Young Arab innovators with ideas and solutions designed to tackle global challenges – such as the COVID-19 pandemic – are encouraged to apply and transform their concepts into tangible innovations.

For over a decade, the impact of Stars of Science has been felt through its significant contribution to creating a vibrant entrepreneurial culture among young people in Arab countries, which is reflected by the successes achieved by its many alumni.

Stars of Science has thus far empowered more than 147 innovators representing 18 Arab countries, instilling the values of collaboration and scientific excellence during their time on the show. Collectively, the show’s alumni community have become drivers of change to catalyse social progress and create a culture of innovation across the Arab region and beyond.

Stars of Science not only provides funding and technical assistance, but also grants contestants the necessary tools to develop their ideas and projects. Furthermore, participants

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Three New Books That Stare Up at the Stars

THE HUMAN COSMOS
Civilization and the Stars
By Jo Marchant
386 pp. Dutton. $28.

It’s easy to forget, but for most of human history, the night sky was the best show around. Barring cloud cover, the ethereal haze of the Milky Way dominated as neighbor planets shone among stars too numerous to count. Meteors injected drama with their fiery trails. The moon, in its regularity, marked the passing of month and season. The dynamic night sky was ever-present, and as such played a crucial role in the development of art, agriculture, science, religion, politics and more, argues Marchant, a science journalist, in “The Human Cosmos.” Outer space and humanity’s relationship to it, she writes, is foundational, even inextricable, from culture itself.

Marchant’s story starts on the walls of Lascaux cave in southwestern France, discovered in 1940, adorned with pigment depicting animals like bulls and ibexes. Scholars have argued over the

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Searching for axion dark matter conversion signals in the magnetic fields around neutron stars

Searching for axion dark matter conversion signals in the magnetic fields around neutron stars
The 100m Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope. Credits: GBT – NRAO/GBO.

According to theoretical predictions, axion dark matter could be converted into radio frequency electromagnetic radiation when it approaches the strong magnetic fields that surround neutron stars. This radio signature, which would be characterized by an ultranarrow spectral peak at a frequency that depends on the mass of the axion dark matter particle in question, could be detected using high-precision astronomical instruments.


Researchers at University of Michigan, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and other institutes worldwide have recently carried out a search for traces of this axion dark matter conversion in data collected by two powerful telescopes, the Green Bank Telescope (GBT) and the Effelsberg Telescope. Their study was based on their previous research efforts and theoretical predictions, the latest of which is a paper published in 2018.

“The idea proposed in our earlier work and fleshed out in

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