ESA’s Hipparcos satellite measured accurate positions of some 100,000 stars. Doing so from space represented a fundamentally new discipline in space science.
In 2000 ESA adopted the Gaia mission, a vastly more advanced star-mapping satellite. Gaia was launched in 2013 and continues to operate flawlessly, measuring the positions of more than two billion stars with extreme accuracy.
The talk will review the two thousand year history of this branch of astronomy (astrometry), explain why and how these measurements are made from space, and why the measurement of star positions is of such profound scientific importance.
Visitors welcome £5 • Members/Students £2
Image credit: ESA-D.Ducros 2013
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