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Insights into the history of the Milky Way revealed by the Gaia telescope

Published on March 25, 2024
Current Context: The Gaia space telescope, launched by the European Space Agency (ESA), has made significant contributions to our understanding of the Milky Way’s history.
Insights into the history of the Milky Way revealed by the Gaia telescope
  • Here are some key insights:
    • Gaia has discovered two ancient streams of stars, named Shakti and Shiva, that helped form our galaxy more than 12 billion years ago.
    • These streams are so old they likely formed before the oldest parts of our galaxy’s spiral arms and disc.
    • Each stream contains the mass of about 10 million Suns, with stars of 12 to 13 billion years in age all moving in very similar orbits with similar compositions.
    • The stars in these streams are so ancient that they lack many of the heavier metal elements created later in the Universe’s lifetime.
    • The discovery of these streams has provided unprecedented insights into the early growth of the Milky Way.
    • These findings highlight the importance of Gaia’s mission in unraveling the intricacies of our galaxy and its formation.
    • The data collected by Gaia is helping astronomers to understand the subtle yet crucial differences between stars in the Milky Way, which is essential for understanding how our galaxy formed and evolved.

Question:

Q.1 What is the name of the space telescope launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) that has significantly contributed to our understanding of the Milky Way’s history?
a. Hubble Space Telescope
b. Kepler Space Telescope
c. Gaia Space Telescope
d. James Webb Space Telescope
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