The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), one of the nearest galaxies to our Milky Way, as viewed by ESA’s Gaia satellite using information from the mission’s second data release.
This image combines the total amount of radiation detected by Gaia in each pixel with measurements of the radiation taken through different filters on the spacecraft to generate colour information. Information about the proper motion of stars – their velocity across the sky – is represented as the texture of the image.
Measuring the proper motion of several million stars in the LMC, astronomers were able to see an imprint of the stars rotating clockwise around the centre of the galaxy. The image processing technique used to create this image is called Line Integral Convolution.
Acknowledgement: Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC); A. Moitinho / A. F. Silva / M. Barros / C. Barata, University of Lisbon, Portugal; H. Savietto, Fork Research, Portugal; P. McMillan, Lund Observatory, Sweden