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The most complete cosmic census yet: Gaia mission publishes third data release

The European Space Agency's Gaia mission is publishing its third data release (DR3). The published catalogue of astronomical objects amounts to the most complete cosmic census to date, and is likely to have a decisive influence on astronomical research for years to come. Key information that is part of the survey, namely classification data that allows astronomers to readily search for objects such as stars, galaxies, or quasars, as well as physical information about stellar properties like temperature and chemical composition, were contributed by the Gaia group at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy.

The illustration contains several components of the Universe. From bottom left to top right follow an open telescope dome, a band of stars and luminous gas, a zone with black background and many images of galaxies from the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, an area with young galaxies with jets and surrounding transparent spheres labeled "Reionization Era / Cosmic Dawn", a zone without light sources labeled "Dark Ages" and finally a sector of a sphere of small blue, yellow and red zones, a representation of the cosmic background radiation.

Astronomers determine the time when all the neutral hydrogen gas between galaxies produced by the Big Bang became fully ionised more

New calculations of Solar spectrum resolve decade-long controversy about the Sun's chemical composition

Astronomers have resolved the decade-long solar abundance crisis: the conflict between the internal structure of the Sun as determined from solar oscillations (helioseismology) and the structure derived from the fundamental theory of stellar evolution, which in turn relies on measurements of the present-day Sun's chemical composition. New calculations of the physics of the Sun's atmosphere yield updated results for abundances of different chemical elements, which resolve the conflict. Notably, the Sun contains more oxygen, silicon and neon than previously thought. The methods employed also promise considerably more accurate estimates of the chemical compositions of stars in general.

The image shows two coloured structures each and are labelled "California Cloud" and "Orion A".  The structure in the upper left appears elongated with a small bubble underneath. The structure at the bottom right looks similar to the image on the left.

Astronomers solve the mystery of the different star formation activities of two similar-looking dust clouds by reconstructing their 3D shapes more

Artistic impression of a planet-forming disk

The demographics of hundreds of planet-forming disks within a thousand light-years reveal how their masses vary with age more

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