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A 360 view of space seen from 1.5 million km from Earth

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By Euronews
The Milky Way
The Milky Way   -   Copyright  ESA
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The European Space Agency has released a 360° video allowing viewers to explore space from the perspective of a satellite 1.5 million kilometres from earth.

The images come from the Gaia satellite, launched in December 2013. The map is based on data from 1.7 billion stars, with brighter patches showing areas with more stars.

A belt around the image is known as the Galactic plane, where most of the stars in our galaxy (known as the Milky Way) are positioned. The Galactic centre, is the brightest patch, indicating the highest density of stars.

Two bright patches below the Galactic plane are two dwarf galaxies orbiting our own, known as the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds.