A group of professional astronomers from the European Space Agency’s Gaia mission has created the dream of every Pink Floyd super-fan: an animation of stars in the night sky traversing space, over a million years. And to make things even more cosmic, the animation shows the stars not as they moved in the past, but as they will in the future.
Futurism took over the animation, which ESA astronomers recently posted on YouTube. In a post on ESA’s Gaia website, the group outlines how it developed this short but stellar visual model. And, according to astronomers, it is indeed “scientifically correct”, using the correct calculations to assume the trajectory of these stars.
Speaking of which, the animation includes 40,000 stars, at a distance of 100 parsecs from the Sun. (It is about 3.3 light-years wide.) Although astronomers note that in this cross section there are many more stars than shown. I mean this slice of the sky is even more stellar IRL.
ESA Gaia Mission
The first frame of the animation shows the current positions of the 40,000 stars in the night sky. Note that the points vary in brightness depending on the actual brightness of the stars they represent.
The following few frames show routes that appear from the locations of the stars. These paths show how the stars will move in the sky over 80,000 years and give them an arc that spectators can watch. In other words, astronomers have stretched the stars into stripes for 80,000 years, so it’s easier to see their motion.
Subsequently, the bright dots that represent the dots fade, leaving only traces to follow. The rest of the short animation shows how the stars will move in the next 1.6 million years.
Gaia astronomers have also launched an equally interesting animation of 74,281 stars in the same cross section of 100 parsecs moving around the center of our galaxy. In that video above, the animation shows how the stars will orbit in the next 500 million years. By the way – although maybe not ?! – The animation reminds us a lot of this translucent roll of cinnamon from the depths of the sea.