The Origins Billions Star Survey: Galactic Explorer
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The Origins Billions Star Survey is a mission concept addressing the astrophysics of extrasolar planets, Galactic structure, the Galactic halo and tidal streams, the Local Group and local supercluster of galaxies, dark matter, star formation, open clusters, the solar system, and the celestial reference frame by determining the position, parallax, and proper motion, as well as photometry, for billions of stars down to 23rd visual magnitude. It is capable of surveying the entire celestial sphere or dwelling on a star field by varying the cadence of observations. The mission's ability to measure objects fainter than 17th magnitude allows a large number of extragalactic compact objects to be observed, making the astrometric measurements absolute. The project mission accuracy is comparable to Gaia for a survey mission. Improved accuracy can be achieved by dwelling on a particular star field or by using the Gaia positions at 14th magnitude to improve the positions of objects at the 18th-23rd visual magnitudes.
Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 118: 1428-1442, 2006 October