The Gaia satellite of the European Space Agency has produced the most accurate measurement of the Milky Way so far, drawing nearly 1.7 billion stars in a 3-D map. The agency dropped the second version of the satellite's data yesterday, including a handful of incredible images created using their coordinates.
From distant galaxies to our nearest nebula, the satellite has explored our skies with its state-of-the-art equipment since its launch in 2013. Freely available online, its data will help the history of our galaxy and the astronomers To look into the future. 
The ESA dropped the first batch of Gaia data back in September 2016. This new set adds to the survey the position of hundreds of thousands of Add stars. In addition to the star position, the data also contains information on brightness, color, movement and distance of more than a billion stars.
Mapping of the Milky Way
The above picture shows the area around the double cluster h Persei and chi Persei-two close star clusters in the Perseus constellation NGC 869 and NGC 884. Scientists used Gaia data to determine the total density of stars in each individual pixel. They used this information to create the most recent image of a star field we have seen for thousands of years. The astronomer Hipparchus saw, according to NASA, the clusters from the sky over Greece around 130 BC. Chr. 
The Rho Ophiuchi molecular cloud, pictured above, is a large observatory in the constellation Ophiuchus – the serpent bearer. Astronomers have created this image through the radiation recorded by Gaia.
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Filters on the satellite generate color information about the region. The brightest stars – including those in the globular cluster M4, which shines from the right side of the image – dominate this view of the complex. 
Molecular cloud Barnard 68 is also imaged using Gaia's radiation detection and filtering capabilities. Although there are no stars in the picture, astronomers believe that this dense fog could be a star tree containing the ingredients for stars that have not yet formed. According to NASA, this cloud is only 500 light-years away. 
An image of Orion A – pictured here with star-density information from Gaia's second release – was also revealed based on data from Gaia's first publication , At the time, astronomers asked if this chunk of the big star-forming Orion molecular cloud had hidden a cat or a fox in the vast swath of gas and dust. If you see the bright spot to the right of the center of the image as an eye, you may see a fox leaping across the room. If you think of the spot that corresponds to the Orion Nebula cluster as a nose, the animal will turn into a much lower cat.
View of our galactic neighbors
Our galactic neighbor, the Great Magellanic Cloud, has shown one of the most impressive Gaia images (above, right) of the abilities of the billion dollar satellites. The satellite data tracks the galaxy's rotation and maps the motion of its stars as they rotate in a clockwise direction. Astronomers created both images of the galaxy using radiation data.
Another neighboring galaxy, Andromeda, is mapped using stellar density data, and our largest neighbor – also called M31 – is a spiral galaxy on a collision course with our planet But do not worry – it will not break into the Milky Way for billions of years, and Andromeda and the Milky Way will merge and possibly form a huge elliptical galaxy or even a huge disk galaxy.
Read more: Andromeda Galaxy on Collision Course with Milky Way
After fü In space, the satellite will continue its observation until at least 2020, after the ESA has approved a mission extension. This extension should be confirmed later this year. The third data release of the satellite is currently scheduled for late 2020 and should include more accurate measurements of the position, brightness, and velocity of stars in our galaxy, as well as results for many more objects finding their way through our solar system. 19659002] More Gaia images are available on the ESA website.