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Depth in the sky

by JackDesBwa 2020-10-02 23:01

This image started with a video released by the European Space Agency that I found a few days ago, which illustrates the measures done with the Gaia satellite. This mission aims to map the stars of our galaxy in 3D, including their position and velocity (a new version of the catalogue will be released in the next months).

Here the view is centered on the North. The parallax is similar to what we would see from the Earth at two opposite sides of the Sun on its orbit, but exaggerated by a factor of 100000.

The difficulty was to extract two frames from the video which had proper parallax for a stereoscopic image. I wanted to show the part with the constellations drawn, but the animation of the initial video created rivalries in the result. Instead I manually draw transparent lines in the star field to figure the simplified asterisms of three well known constellations (Ursa minor & major and Cassiopeia) for reference.

Credit of the base material: ESA/Gaia/DPAC, under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.
See also https://sci.esa.int/web/gaia/-/60233-parallax-and-proper-motion-on-the-sky for the video.

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