18/12/13 22:44 CET
| updated xx mn ago
| updated at xx
A cutting edge, billion-pixel camera will be launched into space on the world-famous Gaia telescope in an effort to learn more about the origin and evolution of the universe.
Due to lift off from French Guyana on Thursday morning, Gaia is charged with mapping the Milky Way in closer detail than ever before.
Project scientist, Timo Prusti, explained the significance of the mission.
“For every professional astronomer, there is no need to explain how fundamental Gaia is. Everyone knows that when you get the distances to stars, it’s the basis of all the rest of astronomy,” he said. “And everyone is looking forward to getting this data in [their] hands.”
Designed and built for the European Space Agency, Gaia is so sensitive that it can detect the width of a single human hair from a distance of a thousand kilometres.
The mission’s primary aim is to build a three-dimensional map of our galaxy.
It is also expected to discover up to ten thousand planets beyond our Solar System, as well as hundreds of thousands of asteroids and comets within it.
In addition, the telescope may reveal tens of thousands of failed stars and supernovas.
- 1What will Brexit mean for EU migrants to the UK and British expats?
- 2Will English remain as the de facto EU official language?
- 3David Cameron’s “unacceptable behaviour” to blame over referendum defeat, Oettinger tells euronews
- 4Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty explained
- 5EU friendly London shocked after Britain vote to leave
Latest world news
Britain’s European Commissioner Jonathan Hill resigns after Brexit vote
Britain’s EU Commissioner Jonathan Hill, who oversees EU Finance sector is resigning
EU foreign ministers demand quick divorce from Britain
World Anti-Doping Agency suspends Rio drug testing laboratory
Pope Francis says ‘never again’ to Armenians massacred in WWI
Wires > News
- 15:36 CET Large blast, gunfire in centre of Somali capital – witness
- 14:28 CET Founding EU members tell Britain – let’s get this divorce done
- 14:12 CET After Islamist attacks, Tunisia’s tourism struggles
- 14:02 CET Merkel no hurry for Britain to trigger EU exit process
- 13:25 CET Tsipras blames Brexit on austerity, deficiencies in EU leadership
- 13:10 CET Turkey detains 28 people over alleged financial links to cleric…
- 12:57 CET Founding EU members urge Britain to get on with EU divorce
- 11:24 CET Palestinian leader retracts rabbis water poisoning allegation