Gaia’s Mission: Solving the Celestial Puzzle

19 December 2013


The Gaia spacecraft has now been launched and an amazing project has begun.  Ambitious is hardly the word – altogether over a billion celestial objects will be mapped by Gaia – and in 3D in to the bargain.  What is even, perhaps, more astonishing is that these billion objects constitute only one hundredth of those over 20 G magnitudes brightness in the Milky Way.  Our galaxy is vast.

Professor Gerry Gilmore from Cambridge University’s Institute of Astronomy and the Principal Investigator for UK involvement in the mission says that Gaia "will revolutionize our understanding of the cosmos as never before."   The university has created this twenty minute film exploring the mission and its challenging.  I found it compulsive viewing.

Oh and it is narrated by Sean Pertwee, a wonderful British actor who we have seen recently in Camelot and Elementary among other things.  As the son of the third actor to play Doctor Who, Jon Pertwee, this is more than an appropriate choice for narrator of this wonderful short documentary.


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