The Gaia space observatory has been collecting data on our galaxy for almost ten years and has now made surprising discoveries.

The European Space Agency Esa has published further data on our home galaxy collected by the “Gaia” probe.

There are new and improved details for nearly two billion stars in our galaxy, ESA said. For almost ten years, the Gaia space observatory has been observing the sky and recording the positions of all celestial objects visible to the probe. Scientists come from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg and from the Astronomical Computing Institute at the Center for Astronomy at the University of Heidelberg. The aim is to create a multidimensional map of the Milky Way that is as precise and complete as possible.

One of the most surprising discoveries is that Gaia can detect so-called starquakes that change the shape of the stars, Esa reported. These are “tiny movements on the surface of a star”. “Gaia” had previously recognized so-called radial oscillations. These cause stars to periodically swell and shrink while maintaining their spherical shape. Now, however, other vibrations have been discovered that “act more like large tsunamis,” it said. They only change the “global shape” of a star and are therefore not so easy to recognize.

“Starquakes teach us a lot about the stars, especially about their inner workings,” said Conny Aerts from the Belgian University of Leuven (Leuven), according to the ESA release.