The map shows the locations of over a billion stars.
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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.In a webcast news conference at ESA's Astronomy Centre in Madrid, scientists unveiled a stunning map of the Milky Way, including stars up to half a million times less bright than those we can see with the naked eye.Gaia maps the position of stars in the Milky Way, which straddles some 100,000 light years, in two ways.Wednesday's map showed the locations of over a billion stars, a bonanza for astronomers, but still only 1 percent of our galaxy's estimated stellar population.Some 2,500 such clusters – the incubators of new stars – have been identified in the Milky Way so far, but scientists suspect there are upward of 100,000 .
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