The Gaia space probe, launched in 2013, has mapped more than a billion stars in the Milky Way, vastly expanding the inventory of known stars in our galaxy, the European Space Agency said Wednesday.

Released to eagerly waiting astronomers around the world, the initial catalogue of 1.15 billion stars is “both the largest and the most accurate full-sky map ever produced,” said Francois Mignard, a member of the 450-strong Gaia mission team.

Marlowe Hood
L’Agence France-Presse (AFP) / Yahoo
14 September 2016

Once again I’m awestruck by the most recent reports of Gaia’s space mapping. Awed and comforted at one and the same time. For whilst I am no scientist there was always something in the core of me, a tiny and sometimes barely heard ‘knowing’ that has persistently reached inwards and outwards, to breadth and depth and height for as long as I can remember. Like a kind of ET ‘phone home antenna!

These days I’m glad to make time, daily, to listen for any and everything that’s ‘barely heard’. Each new day’s discoveries (from the tiniest to the greatest) enlarge the soul as we all discover that there’s so much more we’ve yet to discover in creation as a whole. And that brings me some sense of perspective, and teaches me some humility – although that, like all else to be learned in this life, always needs more work on it.

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