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Gaia Live in School

This event took place at 10.00-12.00 CET on Tuesday 25th March 2014.  

2,500 children at 34 schools and colleges from across Europe linked up with the European Space Agency to discover more about how ESA's new astronomy mission - Gaia - is now embarking on its 5 year mission to map a billion stars in our Milky Way, and thus provide the most complete 3-D map of our Galaxy. 

The PhD students from the GREAT-ITN network and Gaia scientists acted as 'explainers' at each school taking part. The Gaia project team participated via a live video link from the ESA Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt. 

At the start of the event, the Gaia explainer introduced what Gaia is and how it will shape our knowledge of the Galaxy. There was then be a live link up to ESA Operations Centre, and the Gaia team there (including the Gaia Project Scientist and the Gaia Spacecraft Operations Manager) described where Gaia is in space just now, what it is doing, how it got there. They answered a large number of questions put to them by the pupils taking part in the event from across Europe. 

After the live link up, the Gaia explainer at each school, gave a hands on presentation showing some of the techniques of Gaia, for instance how it measures distances by just taking pictures of the sky, how its telescopes work, where and how far objects in space are - from our neighbour planets to distant stars and galaxies. 

The connection to ESA/ESOC was broadcast Tues 25th March 2014 from 10.50-11.30 CET - visit http://www.livestream.com/eurospaceagency if you would like to watch the replay. 

The live link up was recorded (see above) and material used in the event published to this website, so that those not able to join in on the day, can still participate 'virtually' at a later date. 

Schools Taking Part (as of 25 Mar 2014)

Find Out More

Contact Nicholas Walton (Coordinator of the GREAT-ITN) via email at naw@ast.cam.ac.uk