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Latest from the Amazing Gaia Satellite. The Quest to Map our Galaxy
A single-evening AAA class, 7 – 9:15 PM.
Wednesday, August 24, 2022
$15 , AAA members only
Since 2013 the amazing Gaia satellite of the European Space Agency has obtained the distances, motions, composition, and classifications of 2+ billion stars in our area of the Milky Way Galaxy. Unbelievable! The data is so accurate and precise that astronomers are now expected to cite Gaia data in their research. The insights Gaia has given us into our “city of stars” are amazing.
Monday, June 13, 2022 saw Gaia’s “Third Data Release” to professionals, institutions, and the public. Already new discoveries have been announced, as some data was pre-released in December and analyzed.
We explore the physics and methods behind Gaia’s operations, especially its refinements to classic parallax, spectroscopy, and photometry. We use Powerpoint notes, images, and videos. Major findings will be summarized. Gaia data are also used to recalibrate standard methods for determining distances to galaxies. These will also be reviewed.
Instructor: David Kiefer, CUNY astronomy professor; Chair of the AAA Classes Committee.