Gaia discovers its first supernova

  Date: 12 September 2014 Original link: ESA webpage While scanning the sky to measure the positions and movements of stars in our Galaxy, Gaia has discovered its first stellar explosion in another galaxy far, far away.   This powerful event, now named Gaia14aaa, took place in a distant galaxy some 500 million light-years away, and was revealed via a sudden rise in the galaxy’s brightness between two Gaia observations separated by one month.   Gaia, which began its scientific work on 25 July, repeatedly scans the entire sky, so that each of the roughly one billion stars in the final...

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Gaia first discovery: surprise space debris

Original link: New Scientist A robotic galaxy mapper may have just made its first discovery – by surviving an unexpected onslaught of space debris. Scientists working with the European Space Agency’s Gaia satellite have found that the spacecraft is being peppered by far more micrometeoroids – tiny specks of space dust – than had been anticipated. The strikes shouldn’t put Gaia in danger, although mission scientists will have to watch closely as the spacecraft begins its scientific observations. And the discovery might spell trouble for future spacecraft headed to the same orbital...

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