Known issues with the Gaia DR3 data


This page lists any issues found in Gaia Data Release 3 which could not be incorporated into the official data release, or which were discovered after the release of the data and publication of the release documentation. The Gaia DR3 contents page contains a summary of limitations that are known, and documented, at the release. Further information can be found from the data release documentation, as well as from the data release overview paper and the data release processing papers.

In case you find an issue with the data yourself, please contact the Gaia Helpdesk to let us know.



NSS: False-positive astrometric binary solutions (updated)

During validation of the astrometric timeseries (epoch astrometry) for Gaia DR4, an error was discovered that had already had an impact on the Gaia DR3 non-single star results published in the gaiadr3.nss_two_body_orbit table. The investigation showed that four specific targets suffered of this software bug and that the astrometric-orbit solutions of Gaia DR3 4698424845771339520 (WD 0141-675), Gaia DR3 5765846127180770432 (HIP 64690), Gaia DR3 522135261462534528 (54 Cas), and Gaia DR3 1712614124767394816  (HIP 66074) are false-positives as far as Gaia non-single star processing is concerned. The former two cases had already been reported here in May 2023. Independently, the HIP 64690 orbit solution was identified as spurious by Spaeth et al. 2023 (DOI 10.3847/2515-5172/acb3c5).
The Gaia DR3 4698424845771339520, Gaia DR3 522135261462534528, and Gaia DR3 1712614124767394816 entries in gaiadr3.binary_masses are no longer valid as they were based on the orbit solutions. For all four sources,  the astrometric and other parameters in the gaiadr3.gaia_source table are not affected and remain valid.
An internal investigation of astrometric orbit solutions of sources with inferred substellar-companion candidates did not reveal additional false-positives. The new status of the HIP 66074 DR3 orbital solution as false positive does not put into question the radial-velocity discovery of an exoplanet around this source by Sozzetti et al. 2023 (DOI 10.1051/0004-6361/202347329).

Published: 5 May 2023 - Updated 27 May 2024


QSO: QSO candidates with missing catalogues names

The surface brightness sample published in the qso_candidates is based on an input list of sources described in Section 9.2 of the on-line documentation. This list was built based on external catalogues and the table qso_catalogue_name provides the names of the applicable catalogues for each of the sources featuring surface brightness parameters in qso_candidates. Due to an oversight during the processing, the catalogue name is missing for 494 sources. In this file, the list of affected sourceIds is provided.

Published: 13 June 2022


SSO: Number of observations of Solar System Objects

The number of observations (num_of_obs) in the sso_source table contains a wrong value in 4 cases, with the correct number being present in the sso_observation table:

  • sourceId -4284051496, corresponding to number_mp (91580), has 317 num_of_obs in the sso_source table, but 310 entries in the sso_observation table;
  • sourceId -4283766166, corresponding to number_mp (120113), has 74 num_of_obs in the sso_source table, but 69 entries in the sso_observation table;
  • sourceId -4281797236, corresponding to number_mp (317006), has 64 num_of_obs in the sso_source table, but 63 entries in the sso_observation table;
  • sourceId -4283795346, corresponding to number_mp (117195), has 76 num_of_obs in the sso_source table, but 75 entries in the sso_observation_table.

For more information see the 'Gaia Data Release 3: Catalogue Validation' paper and the Validation chapter of the Gaia data release documentation.

Published: 13 June 2022


Astrophysical Parameters: Missing bolometric correction for some sources

Upon validation of the data, a minor processing bug was discovered in the FLAME software which resulted in a list of 153,474 sources that have valid FLAME parameters but for which the associated field bc_flame is set to null. The user can recover these values by using the bolometric correction function which is provided as part of the astrophysical parameter tool which is available on the Gaia DR3 software tools webpage. For more information, see Creevey et al. (2022).

Published: 13 June 2022


Astrophysical parameters: Small set of GSPspec results out of validity ranges and with wrong extrapolation flag

The flags_gspspec chain includes a specific character named "extrapol" (c.f. Table 2 in Recio-Blanco et al. 2022) that controls the extrapolation level of the GSPspec parametrization. A bug in the implementation of this "extrapol" flag has left 251 sources with at least one extrapolated parameter and values outside the corresponding validity ranges. The list of Gaia DR3 identifiers of these sources is in the attached file.

Published: 13 June 2022


Golden Sample of Astrophysical Parameters: Two incorrect source_ids in gaiadr3.gold_sample_spss

An error has occured in the gaiadr3.gold_sample_spss table. Namely two source_ids were incorrectly labelled. This concerns only the source_ids and no other data field. The error has been traced back to an early cross-match on the SPSS tables and we confirm that no other source has been affected by this.

Therefore in the current gaiadr3.gold_sample_spss, the following should be replaced:

  • SPSS_ID = 348, HD271783 has a true Gaia DR3 source_id = 5284204302730217984 and not 4887062351834002642
  • SPSS_ID = 115, G114-25 has a true Gaia DR3 source_id = 5757389920689415040 and not 4887524447164040921

Published: 10 October 2022


Variability: planetary transits

The Gaia DR3 table named vari_planetary_transit contains information on the period and other properties (transit reference time, depth, duration, etc.) of 41 new planetary transit candidates and 173 known exoplanets (Eyer et al. 2022, Panahi et al. 2022). The data in the table gaiadr3.vari_planetary_transit, originally published on 13 June 2022 with solution_id = 375316653866487564, contained serious errors and users were advised on 23 June 2022 not to use them.

On 7 February 2023 at 11:00 CET, the original, erroneous table was renamed to gaiadr3.vari_planetary_transit_13june2022 and replaced by a new table with the (original) name gaiadr3.vari_planetary_transit and solution_id = 375523436409132247. This change applies to the table available from the Gaia ESA Archive as well as from the bulk-download repository.

Published: 23 June 2022 - Updated 7 February 2023


Synthetic photometry - Wrong units in SDSS and PS1 flux and flux error fields in table gaiadr3.synthetic_photometry_gspc

The units of the SDSS and PanSTARRS1 (PS1) flux and flux error fields in the Gaia DR3 table gaiadr3.synthetic_photometry_gspc (Gaia Collaboration, Montegriffo, et al., 2022) are W m−2 nm−1 but should read W m−2 Hz−1. The reason is that the SDSS and PS1 photometric systems use AB rather than Vega magnitudes. Only the units are wrong: the table and data are otherwise correct.

Published: 09 January 2023


Synthetic photometry: Error in the PS1 synthetic photometry in table gaiadr3.synthetic_photometry_gspc​

Due to a bug in GaiaXPy (fixed in patch 1.2.4, released on the 9th of January 2023), the synthetic photometry for the standardized PanSTARRS1 y band (contained in the fields y_ps1_flux, y_ps1_flux_error and y_ps1_mag) has been generated without applying the flux offset mitigating the systematic effect at the faint end due to background issues (also referred to as hockey-stick, see Section 2.2.1 and equation 13 in Gaia Collaboration, Montegriffo, et al., 2022). The offset should have been applied to the synthetic flux and then propagated to the flux error and magnitude. However, no offset was applied.

The table gaiadr3.synthetic_photometry_gspc will not be fixed. However, correct synthetic photometry in the standardised PanSTARRS1 system can be generated using GaiaXPy (with version 1.2.4 or later) on spectra extracted from the Gaia archive.

Published: 09 January 2023


Photometry - Sources with missing G Fluxes


Poor input colour recovery

The sources in this issue were originally found to be much fainter than expected during the validation phase and subsequently their photometry was removed from the Gaia EDR3 as well as from the Gaia DR3 catalogues. The cause of this was found to be poor input Spectral Shape Coefficient, SSC, (colour) values. Following this, the transits for these sources were all processed as Bronze sources i.e. using default SSCs, for all three flux types (G, GBP and GRP) and generating weighted mean flux values (and their errors) for each source. This will make the source consistently Bronze. See Section 8.2 of Riello et al. 2020 for more details.

In this file, magnitudes have been generated from the fluxes using the formula:


where the zeropoints are the Gaia EDR3 VEGAMAG ones which can be found in Riello et al. 2021 (Section 7, Table 3).

This issue affects 5,401,215 sources.

Note that the GBP magnitudes will still be affected by the bias mentioned in Section 8.1 of Riello et al. 2021. Care should be taken when using GBP magnitudes fainter than 20.3. See also Section 9.2 for some suggestions on possible filtering criteria.


Download the file


Please connect with an FTP client of your choice or using the terminal to and navigate to the folder GAIA_PUBLIC_DATA. Here you can find a folder PhotometryEDR3. The file with details on these sources can be found there along with a readme.txt file.


Insufficient valid transits

During the validation of the Gaia EDR3 catalogue, 54,125 sources were found not to have a mean G flux available in the Gaia EDR3 and Gaia DR3 catalogues even though astrometric information was available for them. Investigation showed that these sources had too few valid transits for photometric processing. The validity criteria are different in the photometric and astrometric processing chains.

As a convenience to the user, a median Gvpu on-board magnitude (see Gaia EDR3 Documentation Section is provided for these sources, but stored with a reduced precision (10%). This is to stop users misguidedly trying to use these values for science. They are purely a general indicator of the brightness of the source. It must be stressed that these values are uncalibrated and on a different photometric system to that of the G values in Gaia EDR3.


Download the file


The file with details on these sources can be downloaded through this link.


Published already for Gaia Early Data Release 3 (before 13 June 2022)



Documentation: Photometric Relations - Typo in the filtering table

In the Gaia data release 3 documentation, there is a typo in Table 5.6 included in Section 5.5.1 (Photometric relationships with other photometric systems). Table 5.6 includes the filters applied to the data used to derive the photometric relationships between Gaia passbands and other passbands from some common photometric systems. In particular, the typo is present in the relationship between Gaia passbands and the z SDSS filter. The last line in Table 5.6 indicates that the selected stars to produce G - z = f (GBP - GRP) relationship have G - z < 0.7 (GBP - GRP) - 0.7, but instead the "<" sign should be a ">" sign.

Thus, the last line of the table should be substituted by:

G - z > 0.7 ( GBP - GRP ) - 0.7

This typo has no further impact on the rest of the section (relationships, range of applicability, and figures).


Published 31 October 2023