Space telescope shows most detailed map of Milky Way ever
BYLINE: Patrick Jones
Gaia is a craft from the European Space Agency which is dedicated to astrometry, and that in turn means it's going to map the heavens.
If you're just finding out about the craft guess what, it's a great time to do so because it's published its first map of the milky way.
The ESA is saying they are now able to show a map of more than 1.1 billion stars in the galaxy we call home.
That sounds like an awful lot, but that's actually considered to be less than 1 percent of all the stars in our neighborhood.
The ESA says they want to use this information to track how stars move and begin to build a database. It's the most intricate map of the heavens we've ever had.
The craft is able to make this map using a billion pixel camera and is 200 times more accurate than its predecessor.
They'd also like to use their toy in the sky to confirm just how quickly the universe expanded. It can also determine wobbles in stars which are being pushed and pulled by planets in their orbits with one astronomer saying it could lead to the discovery of 1,000 new worlds.
Now that's out of this world!