Two million stars in our Galaxy, with their motions traced five million years into the future. Click here for details and large versions of the video. Credit: ESA/Gaia/DPAC
The video starts from the positions of stars as measured by Gaia between 2014 and 2015, and shows how these positions are expected to evolve in the future, based on the proper motions from TGAS. The frames in the video are separated by 750 years, and the overall sequence covers 5 million years. The stripes visible in the early frames reflect the way Gaia scans the sky and the preliminary nature of the first data release; these artefacts are gradually washed out in the video as stars move across the sky.
The shape of the Orion constellation can be spotted towards the right edge of the frame, just below the Galactic Plane, at the beginning of the video. As the sequence proceeds, the familiar shape of this constellation (and others) evolves into a new pattern. Two stellar clusters – groups of stars that were born together and consequently move together – can be seen towards the left edge of the frame: these are the alpha Persei (Per OB3) and Pleiades open clusters.
More information about this video can be found at: http://sci.esa.int/gaia/59005-the-mot...
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Two million stars on the move
The location of the Orion constellation (right) and of two stellar clusters (left) in the first frame of the video. Credit: ESA/Gaia/DPAC