Who knows? Maybe we'll find a lost previously-unknown civilization!
The most precise map of the night sky ever assembled is taking shape.
Astronomers working on the Gaia space telescope have released a first tranche of data recording the position and brightness of over a billion stars.
And for some two million of these objects, their distance and sideways motion across the heavens has also been accurately plotted.
Gaia's mapping effort is already unprecedented in scale, but it still has several years to run.
Remarkably, scientists say the store of information even now is too big for them to sift, and they are appealing for the public's help in making discoveries.
To give one simple example of the scope of Gaia: Of the 1.1 billion light sources in Wednesday's data release, something like 400 million of these objects have never been recorded any previous catalogue. -