by Jace Daniel (b. 1969)
Preparing for school. Kindergarten. Preparing to get into the first grade. Recess. Preparing for lunch. A snack and a nap. Preparing for the afternoon. Preparing for the holidays. Preparing for the new year. Preparing for summer vacation. Preparing for Back to School. Homework. Preparing for the quiz. Cramming. Preparing for the finals to get the grade-point average to get the scholarship. Preparing for Friday, preparing for the weekend, preparing for Monday to do it all over again. Preparing for Spring Break. Preparing for graduation. Preparing for the job interview to get the job. Preparing for the job review to get the promotion. Preparing for the raise to get the house. Preparing for the date to get the lover. Breath mints, preparing to get lucky. Oops, pregnant. Should’ve prepared. Preparing the wedding, preparing the room for the baby, preparing the finances for the baby’s college fund, preparing for the kid’s wedding. Preparing for retirement. Preparing for the gym, preparing for good health. A shower, preparing for the evening. A dinner reservation, preparing. The dry cleaners. Clothes prepared. The hurry, preparing to avoid traffic. The intersection, the yellow light, the gas pedal. Preparing to make it on time.
Preparing for the funeral.
This video shows the 2 057 050 stars from the TGAS sample, which was published as part of the first data release of ESA’s Gaia mission (Gaia DR1) on 14 September 2016, with the addition of 24 320 bright stars from the Hipparcos Catalogue that are not included in Gaia’s first data release. The stars are plotted in Galactic coordinates and using a rectangular projection: in this, the plane of the Milky Way stands out as the horizontal band with greater density of stars.
The video starts from the positions of stars as measured by Gaia between 2014 and 2015, and shows how these positions are expected to evolve in the future, based on the proper motions from TGAS. The frames in the video are separated by 750 years, and the overall sequence covers 5 million years. The stripes visible in the early frames reflect the way Gaia scans the sky and the preliminary nature of the first data release; these artefacts are gradually washed out in the video as stars move across the sky.
The shape of the Orion constellation can be spotted towards the right edge of the frame, just below the Galactic Plane, at the beginning of the video. As the sequence proceeds, the familiar shape of this constellation (and others) evolves into a new pattern. Two stellar clusters – groups of stars that were born together and consequently move together – can be seen towards the left edge of the frame: these are the alpha Persei (Per OB3) and Pleiades open clusters.