Wednesday 16 April 2014

Europe launches mapping satellite

An artist's impression of the Gaia satellite

The European Space Agency has launched a satellite it hopes will produce the most accurate three-dimensional map of our part of the Milky Way galaxy.

The agency said the Gaia satellite lifted off into space aboard a Russian-made Soyuz carrier system from French Guiana.

Gaia is heading to a stable orbit called the Lagrange 2 point where Earth will shield it from the Sun.

Once it arrives, the satellite will begin its mission to survey a billion stars in Earth's galactic neighbourhood.

Gaia will also use its 1,000-megapixel camera to hunt for planets, asteroids and comets beyond our solar system, and test a key part of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity.

Press Association

Also in this Section




Meet, chat and connect with
singles in your area


Meet Singles Now



Now available on on Twitter


Most Read

Independent Gallery

Your photos

Send us your weather photos promo

Celebrity News