June 18, 2014 | Luke

I'm dissapointed. The Gaia orbiting telescope is mapping stars in our galaxy, but its heat shield is not shading it completely from the Sun. This means it won't be able to see all of the faintest stars.

But I am relieved it's a minor problem and the mission will continue. If the telescope operates for longer it may still map those faint stars.

Overall, Gaia will map 1 billion stars, which is still only 1 percent of our Milky Way. Woah, it's huge!


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Gaia's heat shield tested on Earth.


Image: ESA-M. Pedoussaut

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