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Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Gaia!


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Where Will Gaia Be in Space?

Gaia will be operated in a Lissajous-type orbit, around the L2 Lagrangian point of the Sun-Earth system, at about 1.5 million kilometres from the Earth. This L2 point represents a location where gravitational and repulsive forces are balanced. This orbit is eclipse-free, which allows a very stable thermal environment and a high observing efficiency, and lies in a low radiation region.

Click on the thumbnail below to explore the Lissajous type orbit that Gaia will occupy when it is deployed:

Gaia's Lissajous Type Orbit

How Long Will It Take Gaia to Reach this Orbit?

Gaia will have to travel for about 4 months to arrive at its chosen orbit.

How Much Time Will Gaia Be in Space?

Immediately after insertion in its final orbit, Gaia will start taking measurements which will continue for a period of 5 years.

How Big is the Computation Needed to Reduce All of Gaia's Data?

Gaia's data reduction using an average PC would take about 300 years! The Gaia team will complete this in only 3 years using advanced technology.


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