Image of the Week
A Window to Gaia - The Focal Plane
Would you like to know which stars are currently being observed by Gaia? 'A Window to Gaia - The Focal Plane' displays the stars observed by Gaia in real time as they slide through the focal plane. The web application contains the Tycho-2 catalogue with more than 2 million stars - in reality Gaia observes much fainter stars as well - and uses the analytical attitude of the satellite, which is very close to the real one. The tool does not take into account operational activities preventing nominal observations.
'A Window to Gaia - The Focal Plane' is part of a much larger application called Gaia Sky (formerly known as the Gaia Sandbox). Gaia Sky is an outreach application, developed by members of the Gaia group at ARI at the University of Heidelberg, which contains a full 3D Universe simulation. Even though it is still in beta version (the first version will be released with Gaia Data Release 1), it already has a lot of content: planets, moons, asteroids, stars and even the full Milky Way galaxy. The software runs on Linux, Windows and OS X, and is available for download on the ARI webpages. There is also a lite version for browsers available which is running through WebGL.
Credits: Toni Sagristà Sellés, Stefan Jordan (ARI, University of Heidelberg)
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