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App with instant maps of the Milky Way from Gaia available before launch

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An app that will display three-dimensional real-time maps from the Gaia mission observations of the Milky Way was made available by researchers at the Institute of Sciences of the Cosmos and the Department of Astronomy and Meteorology of the University of Barcelona and the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia on Dec. 18, 2013.

The app is available one day prior to the scheduled launch of the Gaia satellite. The Gaia mission is planned to produce the most complete and exacting three-dimensional photographs of the entire Milky Way ever produced. Launch of the Gaia spacecraft is scheduled for Dec. 19, 2013, from Europe's spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.

The Gaia app will present equipment details, operational information, a catalogue of the amount of data viewed on a daily basis, and best of all real-time photographs of parts of the Milky Way that have never been seen in compete detail before.

The multitude of scientists and engineers that worked on the development of the Gaia project plan to use the data produced by the Gaia photographs and mapping to produce an understanding of the origin and timing of the birth of the Milky Way that has never been possible before.

The app is available in English and Spanish and is free at this site.



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