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To present the catalog, the Aula Magna Enric Casassas of the Faculty of Physics has hosted the event chaired by the rector of the UB Joan Elias (Photo: UB).

The ICCUB Technology Unit participates in the elaboration of the most accurate map of the Universe

The European Space Agency (ESA) today announced the second file for the Gaia mission, which aims to create the most accurate map of our galaxy, the Milky Way. In its preparation, a team from the Institute of Cosmos Sciences of the University of Barcelona (ICCUB), a member of the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC), has takes part in its elaboration. The engineers of the ICCUB Technology Unit (ICCUB-Tech), located at the Barcelona Science Park, have played a key role in the development of the software for processing and reducing data to create this catalog.


This second catalogue, apart from the locations of 1,700 million stars, includes the distance, movement and color of more than 1,300 million stars in the Milky Way and the nearest galaxies.In addition, the catalogue has more than seven million stars with measurements of their radium speed (speed at which the star gets closer or far), 550,000 light curves of variable stars that allow a critical review of the Universe distance scale; astrometry and photometry measurements for 14,000 asteroids, and the temperature of 160 million stars. The Gaia satellite has also observed the position of extragalactic objects such as quasars and faraway galaxies. 

The file with these data, which are published today, is open to the scientific community, amateur astronomers and the general public. Moreover, researchers from the Gaia consortium publish today six scientific articles in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, using these data. sis articles científics 

To present the catalog, the Aula Magna Enric Casassas of the Faculty of Physics has hosted the event chaired by the UB Vice Chancellor, Joan Elias, in which Marina Villegas, director of the State Agency for Research, the director of the ICCUB, Lluís Garrido, and the director of the IEEC, Ignasi Ribas have intervened. After that, members of the Gaia mission of the ICCUB explained the latest results of the project, among them, Jordi Portell, head of the Gaia-Barcelona Group’s engineering team, who has led the team of engineers from the Barcelona Scientific Park ICCUB-Tech  responsible for developing software for the treatment and reduction of data of the Gaia mission.


Gaia Mission

The Gaia satellite, sent to space in December 2013 by the European Space Agency, aims to create the most accurate map of the Milky Way. With precise measurements of the positions and motions of the stars in the Milky Way, it will answer doubts on the origin and evolution of our home galaxy. The satellite is at 1,5 million kilometres from the Earth. The mission, with a 5-year initial length, was recently extended until 2020. More than a billion astrometry measurements have been carried out so far.
The central file of the mission is carried out at the European Space Astronomy Center (ESAC), in Madrid.

The team of ICCUB (UB-IEEC), led by Professor Jordi Torra, from the Department of Quantum Physics and Astrophysics, and the tenured university lecturers Xavier Luri, Carme Jordi and Francesca Figueras, have taken part in the Gaia mission since the beginning, with an important role: they contributed to the scientific and technological design of the project and the prototype of the system for the astrometry data treatment, and have led the production of simulated data during the preparation phase of the mission.

Regarding the data to be published now, the team of Barcelona is leading the group that works on the file of the mission. 

► For further Information: UB website  [+]