Gaia: Mapping the Stars

Dr Giorgia Busso talks about her work on the Gaia Mission at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge.

Dr Giorgia Busso is an astrophysicist at the Institute of Astronomy working on the European Space Agency’s Gaia space mission. Dr Busso is part of a small team at the University of Cambridge who processes the photometric and low resolution spectral data sent from Gaia. Launched in 2013, Gaia operates in an orbit around the Lagrange 2 (L2) point, located 1.5 million kilometres behind the Earth in the direction away from the Sun. The primary objective of Gaia is to measure stellar distances using the parallax method. To date, Gaia has catalogued around 2 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy. This data helps astronomers to understand the formation history and evolution of our Galaxy.

The team in Cambridge is part of a wider international consortium of scientists working on the Gaia mission.

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