Astronomy Picture of the Day
Milky Way Motion in 3D from Gaia
Milky Way Motion in 3D from Gaia
2022 July 6

Explanation: Our sky is alive with the streams of stars. The motions of 26 million Milky Way stars are evident in the featured map constructed from recent data taken by ESA's Gaia satellite. Stars colored blue are moving toward us, while red indicates away. Lines depict the motion of the stars across the sky. The large blue on the left and red areas on the map's right give the overall impression that stars in the Milky Way are rotating around the center. However, there is a region near the middle -- caused by our own Sun's motion relative to a rigidly-rotating central Galactic bar -- that seems to reverse it. Understanding details about the motion of stars is helping humanity to better understand the complex history of our Milky Way galaxy and the origin of our Sun.

  High Resolution Image
Tomorrow’s Image: open space
Credit & License: ESA, Gaia, DPAC; Text: Ata Sarajedini (Florida Atlantic U., Astronomy Minute podcast)
 Courtesy of Astronomy Picture of the Day Index - Main Page & Astronomy Picture of the Day


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