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Milky Way Motion in 3D from Gaia
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Milky Way Motion in 3D from Gaia
Credit & Copyright: ESA, Gaia, DPAC; Text: Ata Sarajedini (Florida Atlantic U., Astronomy Minute podcast)
Explanation: Our sky is alive with the streams of stars. The motions of 26 million Milky Way stars are evident in the featured map constructed from recent data taken by ESA's Gaia satellite. Stars colored blue are moving toward us, while red indicates away. Lines depict the motion of the stars across the sky. The large blue on the left and red areas on the map's right give the overall impression that stars in the Milky Way are rotating around the center. However, there is a region near the middle -- caused by our own Sun's motion relative to a rigidly-rotating central Galactic bar -- that seems to reverse it. Understanding details about the motion of stars is helping humanity to better understand the complex history of our Milky Way galaxy and the origin of our Sun.

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
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NASA Official: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.

Based on Astronomy Picture Of the Day

Publications with keywords: Milky Way
Publications with words: Milky Way
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