Gaia News

 

2023-01-17 Gaia Archive upgrade to version 3.2.1

Tomorrow, Wednesday 18 January between 11:00 and 12:00 CET, the Gaia Archive will be upgraded to a new version 3.2.1 and will be down for maintenance for a short while.

2023-01-12 Gaia Focused Product Release

The anticipated contents of the Gaia Focused Product Release are summarized below. These data sets are based on 34 months of data (same period covering Gaia's data release 3) with the exception of the updated astrometry for Solar System objects, which will be based on an extended period of data. With respect to the previous announcement, the pre-main sequence accretion parameters have been postponed to Gaia's data release 4.

  • Astrometry and photometry from engineering images taken in selected regions of high source density (only Omega Cen for this FPR).
  • The first results of quasars' environment analysis for gravitational lenses search.
  • Extended radial velocity epoch data for Long Period Variables.
  • Diffuse Interstellar Bands from aggregated RVS spectra.
  • Pre-main sequence accretion parameters (postponed to Gaia DR4)
  • Updated astrometry for Solar System objects

Gaia Focused Product Release is anticipated in quarter 4 of 2023. The processing for Gaia data release 4 is currently ongoing and its publication is expected not before the end of 2025.

2023-01-09 Gaia DR3 known issues on synthetic photometry

Today two new Gaia DR3 known issues have been published: "Synthetic photometry: Wrong units in SDSS and PS1 flux and flux error fields in table gaiadr3.synthetic_photometry_gspc" and "Synthetic photometry: Error in the PS1 synthetic photometry in table gaiadr3.synthetic_photometry_gspc​". Please have a look at the Gaia DR3 known issues page for the full details when making use of synthetic photometry table.

Regarding the known issue on "Variability: planetary transits", an update to this known issue can be expected early 2023.

2022-12-21 Gaia XPloration, announcement of a Gaia XP workshop

From 15 to 19 May 2023 the first meeting on the Gaia XP low resolution spectra, organized also by members the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium, will be held in Cambridge, UK. The aim of the workshop is to bring together DPAC members and the scientific community that benifits from the Gaia data, to discuss how to use the XP spectra, to understand and maximize the outputs from the various methods for inferring stellar parameters and abundances, how the spectra can be useful for the spectro-photometric calibration of ground-based data, and more. Last, but not least, by encouraging brainstorming and collective work, we hope to create new scientific opportunities that will lead to new collaborations.

You can sign up for the workshop here. There is no conference fee, but there is a limited room capacity. Registrations can be submitted until 1st of March 2023 and will be confirmed by 15th of March 2023.

2022-12-09 Vacancy for a Gaia position in Dresden

The Lohrmann Observatory, Technische Universität Dresden invites applications for a position of Research Associate to work for Gaia science and data processing within Gaia DPAC (Data Processing and Analysis Consortium). More information can be found here in the vacancy description PDF.

2022-11-17 Gaia Photometric Science Alerts at Risk

The Gaia Photometric Science Alerts consists of a pipeline feeding candidate transients into a web portal. This allows the community to follow up on potentially interesting events seen by Gaia immediately following observations taken. Currently, these Gaia Alerts are at risk due to a combination of factors. More info can be found from the news item published here  http://gsaweb.ast.cam.ac.uk/alerts/home.

2022-11-09 Gaia Collaboration to receive 2023 Berkeley Prize

The Gaia collaboration is being honored with the 2023 Lancelot M. Berkeley − New York Community Trust Prize for Meritorious Work in Astronomy for enabling a transformative, multidimensional map of the Milky Way. Since its launch in 2013, the European Space Agency’s Gaia space telescope has recorded stellar positions, distances, colors, and proper motions for nearly two billion stars in our galaxy. According to the prize statement, “Gaia’s three data releases will long be regarded as major events in the history of astronomy, triggering a global partnership to better understand the origin, structure, and destiny of our home galaxy.”

Full details in the announcement here: https://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/gaia/news/2022-11-09-gaia-collaboration-to-receive-2023-berkeley-prize

08/11/2022 Internship positions with the Gaia mission

The 2023 internship opportunities at ESA have been published. Among them, three internship positions with the Gaia mission opened up:

Deadline for applications is 30 November.

More vacancies in the Gaia mission can be found here. Currently also an engineer / post-doc position at Paris Observatory is open.

2022-10-21 Three stories featuring the Gaia mission published across ESA websites

In the past two weeks, three stories featuring the Gaia mission were published across ESA websites. The first one is about stellar occultations, made possible with Gaia's exquisite star data: "Shadow hunters capture Didymos asteroid eclipsing stars" published by ESA Enabling & Support. The second one is the surprising detection of a gamma-ray burst by Gaia and many other ESA spacecraft: "ESA spacecraft catch the brightest ever gamma-ray burst" published by ESA Science & Exploration. The third one discusses near-Earth asteroids and how Gaia helps to improve their orbits: "30 000 near-Earth asteroids discovered and rising" published by ESA Space Safety.

2022-10-10 Gaia DR3 known issue affecting 2 sources in gaiadr3.gold_sample_spss

Please be alerted of the new known issue affecting 2 source ids of sources from the Gaia golden sample of astrophysical parameters. The known issue is given here for convenience, but can also be found on this page.

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

2022-09-28 Updates to the Gaia science performance pages

The Gaia science performance pages have been updated following Gaia's data release 3. Now also the photometric and spectroscopic science performance have been updated with indication for the performance of Gaia DR4 and Gaia DR5. These pages can be found here.

2022-09-27 Future Gaia Data releases

The Gaia Data Release 3 (Gaia DR3) released 13 June 2022 covered 34 months of data. Already before this milestone, the processing for future releases had been proceeding. Gaia Data Release 4 (Gaia DR4) will cover 66 months of observations including all data from the nominal mission. In the current schedule the Gaia DR4 is anticipated to take place not before end of 2025. Unlike for Gaia EDR3/DR3, there are no plans to split Gaia DR4. However, some early tasters of very specific products will be provided in 2023.

This Focused Product Release (FPR) is planned to contain six different flavours of data:

  1. Updated astrometry for Solar System objects,
  2. Astrometry and photometry from engineering images taken in selected regions of high source density (only Omega Cen for this FPR),
  3. The first results of quasars' environment analysis for gravitational lenses search,
  4. Extended radial velocity epoch data for Long Period Variables,
  5. Pre-main sequence accretion parameters, and
  6. Diffuse Interstellar Bands from aggregated RVS spectra.

All these products will be expanded in Gaia DR4. The schedule for Gaia Data Release 5 (Gaia DR5), containing the nominal and extension periods of the mission fully, will be decided after the long term planning has been approved by ESA and the member states funding the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC).

2022-09-23 Shaw Prize award ceremony

In May 2022 it was announced that the Shaw Prize in Astronomy was awarded to Lennart Lindegren and Michael Perryman, for their "lifetime contributions to space astrometry, and in particular for their role in the conception and design of the European Space Agency's Hipparcos and Gaia missions."

Lennart Lindegren and Michael Perryman led the proposal for the Gaia Mission in 1993. Lennart Lindegren is a Professor Emeritus of Lund Observatory in Sweden, and is still active in the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium, more specifically on the Astrometric Global Iterative Solution. Michael Perryman is currently Adjunct Professor at the University College Dublin in Ireland and was Study Scientist and later Project Scientist for the Gaia mission in the period from 1995 to 2006.

More information on the awarded Shaw Prize can be found in this press release by the IAU and in this announcement by the Shaw Prize.

The Shaw Prize award ceremony will be livestreamed on 29 September through:

 

2022-06-24 Gaia DR3 known issue on 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 this table contain serious errors and users are advised not to use them. A corrected table named vari_planetary_transit_corrected will be published as a Gaia DR3 known issue.

Go to the Gaia DR3 known issues here.

Selection of some interesting news from past years

 

2022-08-11 Gaia reveals the past and future of the Sun

Published now on esa.int/gaia a new story on Gaia's solar analogues, giving insight in the possible past and future of the Sun.

We all wish that we could sometimes see into the future. Now, thanks to the very latest data from ESA’s star mapping Gaia mission, astronomers can do just that for the Sun. By accurately identifying stars of similar mass and composition, they can see how our Sun is going to evolve in the future. And this work extends far beyond a little astrophysical clairvoyance.

Read the full story here.

 

2022-06-07 Jupiter’s moon Europa to obscure distant star

Latest story published by ESA on the stellar occultation by Europa on 19 June 2022. More details can be found here: https://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Space_Science/Gaia/Jupiter_s_moon_Europa_to_obscure_distant_star.

 

2022-05-31 Media invitation for Gaia DR3 press briefing

ESA published today its invitation to the media for the Gaia DR3 press briefing on 13 June between 10:00 and 11:00 CEST. A media kit detailing the contents of the release has been published as well.

 

2022-05-25 Shaw prize for Lennart Lindegren and Michael Perryman

Yesterday, it was announced that the Shaw Prize in Astronomy was awarded to Lennart Lindegren and Michael Perryman, for their "lifetime contributions to space astrometry, and in particular for their role in the conception and design of the European Space Agency's Hipparcos and Gaia missions." "The Shaw Prize was established by Mr. Run Run Shaw in 2002, with a clear vision to honour contributors in Astronomy, Life Science and Medicine, and Mathematical Sciences, regardless of race, nationality, gender, and religious belief."

Lennart Lindegren and Michael Perryman led the proposal for the Gaia Mission in 1993. Lennart Lindegren is a Professor Emeritus of Lund Observatory in Sweden, and is still active in the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium, more specifically on the Astrometric Global Iterative Solution. Michael Perryman is currently Adjunct Professor at the University College Dublin in Ireland and was Study Scientist and later Project Scientist for the Gaia mission in the period from 1995 to 2006.

More information on the awarded Shaw Prize can be found in this press release by the IAU and in this announcement by the Shaw Prize.

 

 

2022-04-28 Publication of the Gaia CRF3 cross match table

A downloadable table providing the location of each of the Gaia CRF3 sources that define the Gaia Celestial Reference Frame has been published today on the Gaia DR3 auxiliary data page. The Gaia Collaboration paper "Gaia Early Data Release 3: The celestial reference frame (Gaia-CRF3) can be found here.

Image credit: Gaia Collaboration, S.A. Klioner, et al. 2022 A&A

 

2022-03-23 Gaia finds parts  of the Milky Way much older than expected

Using data from ESA’s Gaia mission, astronomers have shown that a part of the Milky Way known as the ‘thick disc’ began forming 13 billion years ago, around 2 billion years earlier than expected, and just 0.8 billion years after the Big Bang. Find the latest story "Gaia finds parts of the Milky Way much older than expected" on the ESA portal.

 

2022-02-17 Gaia reveals a new member of the Milky Way family

Latest story on esa.int: "Gaia reveals a new member of the Milky Way family".

 

24/11/2021 Gaia's latest story

A story on sci.esa.int was published today: Gaia reveals that most Milky Way companion galaxies are newcomers to our corner of space.

 

19/11/2021 With sadness we announce the passing away of Dimitri Pourbaix

It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing away of Dimitri Pourbaix on 14 November 2021. Since 2006, he was leading the Belgian participation in the Gaia data processing and analysis consortium, was member of the Gaia DPAC executive and mostly dedicated to the management of the Coordination Unit CU4. He will never see the publication of the long-awaited catalogue of binary stars for Gaia DR3, that he has so much contributed to, resolving in particular the orbits of astrometric binaries.

An online condolence register has been made available by the Institut d'Astronomie et d'Astrophysique (Université Libre de Bruxelles) for anyone who wishes to post a condolence message.

 

25/08/2021 Gravitational Waves and the GaiaX Alert stream experiment

Interested in Gravitational Waves? Gaia intends to help out with the follow up of the Gravitational Wave triggers. An experiment with a dedicated GaiaX Alert stream will be started on 1 September 2021 and last four weeks. Find the full news item with all details here.

19/07/2021 Gaia symposium at the EAS meeting

At the EAS meeting in June an extensive preview of Gaia Data Release 3 was given at the Gaia symposium. Slides of the presentations given at this symposium can be found here.

 

08/03/2021 Gaia-TESS collaboration kicks off

TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) is a NASA space mission surveying nearby bright stars in search of extrasolar planets, pushing ahead the fast-growing and exciting study of planets outside our solar system. TESS finds planets that cross our line of sight to their host stars, causing a periodic dimming of the observed light of the system. TESS is issuing a monthly list of newly discovered candidates of transiting exoplanets. However, TESS angular resolution allows light of each target star to be blended with the light from nearby sources. Therefore, follow-up photometric observations are required in order to exclude apparent transits caused by blending with nearby eclipsing binary stars, before further confirmation observations should be performed.

The Gaia mission has been accumulating brightness measurements of billions of stars, with a high angular resolution, producing distinct brightness time series for all sources whose light might be blended with the TESS planet-host candidate. Therefore, Gaia can quickly identify false positive candidates and even confirm true planets in some cases, synergistically combining the capabilities of two of the astronomical space flagships of the USA and Europe – TESS and Gaia.

The analysis of the Gaia relevant data is done at Tel Aviv University by Aviad Panahi, Tsevi Mazeh and Shay Zucker as members of the Gaia DPAC/CU7 team, and the results are reported to the TESS Quick Look Pipeline manager at MIT and TESS Follow-up Observing Program Working Group (TFOPWG) coordinator.

 

03/02/2021 Lodewijk Woltjer Lecture for Amina Helmi

The European Astronomical Society (EAS) announced yesterday that the 2021 Lodewijk Woltjer Lecture has been awarded to Prof. Amina Helmi of the University of Groningen for advancing the understanding of how the Milky Way assembled using dynamical simulations combined with Gaia observations of distances, velocities, ages and chemical abundances of stars. Amina Helmi is a member of the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium and plays a role in the validation of the Gaia data.

 

18/12/2020 Grand Prize 2020 for Gaia

At its last session on 25 September, the Air and Space Academy (AAE) has awarded its Grand Prize 2020 to Anthony Brown, astronomer at the Leiden Observatory, and Vincent Poinsignon, Gaia satellite project manager at Airbus Defence & Space, for their decisive contribution to the success of the scientific space mission of the Gaia satellite.

 

03/12/2020 Gaia Early Data Release 3 online now!

Today at 12:00 CET, the Gaia Collaboration released its Gaia Early Data Release 3 catalogue. If you are interested to follow up on some of the events, which are still ongoing, check out our events page. More information on the release can be found from the Gaia Early Data Release 3 overview page. Some stories highlighting the release have been published here.

 

 

26/11/2020 Announcement of Gaia EDR3 events

Gaia DPAC and ESA Gaia teams are happy to announce the release of Gaia EDR3 on 3 December 2020. Gaia DPAC organises virtual events in many languages and with different formats, ranging from press briefings, scientific presentations to public outreach talks. Have a look at this webpage for the complete overview.

 

18/11/2020 Gaia EDR3 source code

Some source code accompanies the Gaia EDR3 papers. The description of the code and info on where to find the code is available from this page.

 

02/11/2020 International Astronomical Union - Focus meeting 7

At the IAU General Assembly XXXI in Busan, Rep. of Korea, a focus meeting will be held on "Astrometry for 21st century astronomy". The IAU General Assembly will take place from 16 to 27 August 2021. The precise dates for the Focus Meeting 7 will be announced later.

 

29/10/2020 Gaia EDR3 passbands

To allow the scientific community to prepare, the Gaia EDR3 passbands are shared in advance of the Gaia Early Data Release 3, which is expected to go public on 3 December 2020 at 12:00 CET.

 

20/10/2020 Lennart Lindegren and Jackie Faherty awarded prizes for dynamical astronomy

We are pleased to announce that Lennart Lindegren and Jackie Faherty were awarded prizes by the American Astronomical Society (AAS) Division on Dynamical Astronomy (DDA). Lennart was awarded the 2020 Dirk Brouwer Career Award, and Jackie Faherty won the 2020 Vera Rubin Early Career Prize. Find here more information on the prizes and this news.

 

07/09/2020 Gaia EDR3 release date fixed

We have fixed the Gaia EDR3 release date to 3 December 2020 (at 12:00 CET). All data has been produced and the validation is currently underway. The contents of Gaia EDR3 can be found from this page and an overview page will provide further details of the release as it becomes available. Although the pandemic continues to complicate and slow down the progress toward Gaia DR3, the release is expected to take place during the first half of 2022. An overview of the contents of Gaia DR3 can be found from the data release scenario page.

 

19/08/2020 Podcast with Anthony Brown

Find here a podcast interview with our Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium chair: Anthony Brown.

 

07/05/2020 Gaps in Gaia DR2 data

A description and overview of gaps in the data stream that underlies the Gaia DR2 data products can be found here.

 

25/04/2020 Gaia DR2 - second anniversary

Today the Gaia Mission celebrates the second anniversary of Gaia Data Release 2. The Gaia catalogues have been embraced by many scientists across the world. Today, we are proud of the many papers that appeared using our latest release, Gaia DR2. In the past 2 years, almost 3000 refereed papers based on Gaia Data Release 2 have been published. That amounts on average to 4 papers per day. Thank you for using our data with so much enthusiasm! In the meantime, ESA Gaia teams and Gaia DPAC are continuously working towards next data releases. Keep posted with our Gaia newsletter of upcoming releases.

 

Gaia's first release came out on 14 September 2016. On 25 April 2018, the Gaia Collaboration published its second date release.

 

06/03/2020 Gaia's latest science stories

Milky Way's warp caused by Galactic collision, Gaia suggests: Astronomers have pondered for years why our galaxy, the Milky Way, is warped. Data from ESA's star-mapping satellite Gaia suggest the distortion might be caused by an ongoing collision with another, smaller, galaxy, which sends ripples through the galactic disc like a rock thrown into water. Further reading here.

Global Gaia campaign reveals secrets of stellar pair: A 500-day global observation campaign spearheaded more than three years ago by ESA’s galaxy-mapping powerhouse Gaia has provided unprecedented insights into the binary system of stars that caused an unusual brightening of an even more distant star. Further reading here.

 

12/12/2019 Sampling of the Gaia scanning law now available

Today the sampling of the Gaia scanning law over the 22 month time period covered by the Gaia Data Release 2, including the Ecliptic Pole Scanning at the begin of the mission, is made available from the Gaia Auxiliary Data webpage. Note that this is the commanded attitude of the spacecraft, the actual attitude could deviate from it by up to about 30 arcsec. Find more details here.

Below you can see a visualisation of how Gaia scanned the sky during its first 14 months of operations, so for the time period covered by Gaia Data Release1.

 

09/12/2019 Release of the Gaia DR2 primer

The Gaia Helpdesk is happy to announce the release of the Gaia DR2 primer "Everything you wish you had known before you started working with Gaia Data Release 2". This primer collects all information, tips and tricks, pitfalls, caveats, and recommendations relevant to Gaia’s second data release in one place and provides pointers to where more detailed information can be found. It is aimed at astronomers interested in using Gaia DR2 data, including undergraduates and PhD students.

 

 

24/10/2019 Gaia astronomical revolution

The Gaia Data Release 2 catalogues has been used extensively by astronomers across the world. About 3 to 4 papers appear per day based on the Gaia DR2 catalogue, touching many different topics.

 

 

26/09/2019 Update to the Gaia data release scenario

Data processing toward Gaia (E)DR3 continues to progress within the announced schedule. However, to ensure sufficient quality of the quasars and extended objects results, an additional processing run has to be scheduled moving their outcome from Gaia EDR3 to Gaia DR3. Another modification concerns a new data product. A pencil beam survey with (integrated) epoch photometry of all sources (variable and non-variable) will be added to Gaia DR3. The selected field is centred on the Andromeda Galaxy. The cone with 5.5 degree radius contains in total about 1 million sources both in M31 and the Milky Way. In order not to impact the release schedule, only a limited amount of explicit validation will be done on the pencil beam epoch photometry.

 

28/08/2019 Gaia untangles the starry strings of the Milky Way

A new story was published today discussing science findings from Gaia's second data release: "Gaia untangles the starry strings of the Milky Way".

 

22/08/2019  Gaia DR2 known issue

An update to the Gaia DR2 known issues page became available today, discussing systematic effects in the Gaia DR2 parallaxes for very bright stars.

 

17/07/2019 Gaia moves into mission extension

Yesterday a major manoeuvre took place to ensure Gaia would keep out of Earth's shadow for the coming years. This manoeuvre, called the Whitehead Eclipse Avoidance Manoeuvre, also marks the transition of the Gaia mission into its first mission extension. Congratulations to the Gaia team at ESOC for the great achievement yesterday!

 

 

24/06/2019 NWO Spinoza prize for our Gaia DPAC member Amina Helmi

The NWO Spinoza Prize, which is the highest award in Dutch science, was awarded to several researchers working in the Netherlands who belong to the absolute top of science and have done groundbreaking research. Amina Helmi is one of the NWO Spinoza Laureates for her work on the Dynamics, Structure and Formation of the Milky Way at the Kapteyn Institute of the University of Groningen. She is part of Coordination Unit 9 in the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium and participates in the validation of the Gaia data.

 

 

23/05/2019 Lorenzoni Prize 2019 for Gaia DPAC member Eloisa Poggio

The Lorenzoni Prize is an award instituted by the Societa' Astronomica Italiana (SAIt) with the sponsorship of "Officina Stellare" (an Italian manufacturing company in the field of design and construction of telescopes and precision opto-mechanical instrumentation for professional applications for scientific research, aerospace and defense) to reward the best scientific article published by a young researcher in the last 3 years.

This year the Lorenzoni Prize was won by Eloisa Poggio, a young researcher that has published the paper "The Galactic warp revealed by Gaia DR2 kinematics". This paper using Gaia DR2 data reveals that the warp of the Milky Way is a gravitationally induced phenomenon. She was awarded with her prize during the SAIt national meeting that was held in Rome on 16 May 2019.

 

25/04/2019 Geographic contributions to DPAC

Today marks the first birthday of our Gaia Data Release 2, a data release that truly changed our view of the Milky Way. We'd like to celebrate this day with a special thank you to all the people involved in all stages of Gaia's life: from initial proposal, to gathering interest, to design and building and actual operating of the spacecraft. From getting the data down, checking the health of the data, to processing the raw data into a scientifically usable format and then validating to make sure the data is truly that great!

 

In the image released today you can see the geographic contributions to the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium. It shows the countries where the people in DPAC are working. Read further on Gaia DPAC and its contribution to Gaia Data Release 2 in our newest story available here.

 

18/04/2019 Summary of the 53rd ESLAB symposium

From 8-12 April 2019, the 53rd ESLAB symposium took place at ESTEC, The Netherlands. A summary of the results shown at the symposium can be found here.

 

07/04/2019 Rethinking everything we know about star clusters

Recently an overview article appeared on ESA Science & Technology discussing the role of Gaia in our knowledge of star clusters. By studying stellar clusters, Gaia reveals much about the formation and evolution of stars in our surroundings. Read the full article here.

 

22/02/2019 Update to the Gaia DR2 known issues

Today an update to the Gaia DR2 known issues was published discussing Gaia DR2 photometry. We advise you to read through this topic if you use Gaia DR2 photometry.

 

31/01/2019 Update to Gaia DR2 known issues page on radial velocities

Today on ArXiv a paper appeared by Boubert et al.  describing potential contamination of radial velocities in crowded regions. A summary has been added to our Gaia DR2 Known Issues page, along with links to the paper and the accompanying data. The page also describes other topics like astrometry and crossmatches, and complements the Gaia DR2 data release documentation.

 

29/01/2019 Gaia Data Release 3 split into two parts

The Gaia data processing toward Gaia DR3 is progressing at full speed. Although the schedule has stabilised, there are several uncertainties as many elements of the pipelines will see the real data in an operational environment for the first time. Taking the uncertainties into account brought the schedule of the next release toward the end of the earlier announced period of the first half of 2021.

To mitigate the impact on research, the Gaia DR3 will be split into two releases. This way, data that is ready earlier, will be released earlier. The early release, Gaia EDR3, contains astrometry and (integrated) photometry i.e. positions, parallaxes, proper motions, G-band fluxes as well as integrated red- (RP) and blue-band (BP) fluxes, all based on 34 months of data resulting in better accuracy with respect to Gaia DR2. First results for a predefined list of quasars and extended objects may also be included already in the early release. Gaia EDR3 will take place in Q3 of 2020.

Gaia DR3, which is anticipated to take place during the second half of 2021, will supersede Gaia EDR3. This means that the source list and any data published in Gaia EDR3 will not change, but is simply copied to Gaia DR3. Therefore Gaia DR3 is based on the same 34 months of mission data as for Gaia EDR3. The additional products include:
- radial velocities (significantly more due to fainter magnitude limit),
- BP/RP/RVS spectra (new products),
- Solar system data (significantly more sources included),
- variability information (significantly more objects due to longer time interval),
- results for non-single stars (new products), and
- astrophysical parameters (based on spectra).
The final inclusion of the products into Gaia DR3, as well as Gaia EDR3, is subject to successful validation.

 

29/12/2018 Movement of tiny galaxies surrounding the Milky Way

New animation shows the movement of tiny galaxies surrounding the Milky Way as described in a recent story. An interactive version is available here.

19/12/2018 Reward for Gaia and Anthony Brown

Our Gaia DPAC Chair Anthony Brown is recognised by Nature as one of the 10 people who mattered in 2018. This is a special recognition for Anthony, who keeps the Consortium moving forward to get the data from our Gaia mission out to the community. Read the article here

17/12/2018 Video release: the universe of Gaia

Gaia was launched 19 December 2013 and has been scanning the sky ever since. Our second data release, published this April, provided scientists with an extraordinary data set to investigate the formation and evolution history of our Milky Way. Hundreds of scientific studies were performed since, with new papers coming out almost every day.

Video credits: ESA/CNES/Arianespace; ESA/Gaia/DPAC; Gaia Sky / S. Jordan / T. Sagristà; Kppelman, Villalobos and Helmi; Marchetti et al. 2018; NASA/ESA/Hubble; ESO, M. Kornmesser, L. Calçada

14/11/2018 Gaia mission extension approved

Today the ESA Science Programme Committee (SPC) confirmed the Gaia mission extension for mid-2019 to end of 2020 and has given an indicative extension for up to end of 2022. More information can be found here.

02/10/2018: Gaia spots stars flying between galaxies

A team of astronomers using Gaia Data Release 2 looked for high-velocity stars being kicked out of the Milky Way were surprised to find stars instead sprinting inwards – perhaps from another galaxy. Read the story here.

19/09/2018 Gaia hints at our Galaxy's turbulent life

Research using our Gaia DR2 data has shown our Milky Way galaxy is still enduring the effects of a near collision that set millions of stars moving like ripples on a pond. Read the story here.

27/08/2018 Gaia DR2 Known Issues

A new page dedicated to discuss some known issues with the Gaia DR2 data is available here. These cover issues that are important for the users to be aware of but that were only discovered after the release of the data and the documentation. Keep an eye out for the page as newly found issues will be published there when needed.

22/08/2018 Infant exoplanet weighed by Hipparcos and Gaia

An article published in Nature Astronomy discusses the use of Gaia Data Release 2 in combination with Hipparcos data to estimate the mass of the young exoplanet Beta Pictoris b through the astrometric motion of its host star. Read more here.

17/08/2018 A&A special edition on Gaia Data Release 2 out

The A&A special edition on Gaia Data Release 2 is now out and can be found here. Gaia DR2 papers are also summarised on this website with added links to access the papers.

25/04/2018 Gaia DR2 release day

Today we released our our second batch of data. Many thanks to all the work of the people involved in Gaia!

Information on the papers describing the data processing and the science potential of Gaia DR2 can be found here. Now there are some in-depth stories on the data release are available, as well as a guide to scientists to help you get up to speed with using Gaia DR2.

Many images and stories were released today: Gaia creates richest map of our Galaxy and beyond, Gaia's sky in colour, Gaia's Hertzsprung-Russel diagram, Cosmic scales covered by Gaia's second data release, Large Magellanic Cloud, Small Magellanic Cloud, Gaia's view of more than 14000 asteroids, Gaia's globular clusters and dwarf galaxies, Gaia's globular clusters and dwarf galaxies - with orbits, Gaia's new map of star density, the Galactic sensus takes shape, Rotation of the Large Magellanic Cloud. Many more are expected from the science with Gaia data release 2.

Make sure to watch the 360 degrees Gaia first sky map in colour with your smartphone and Google cardboard!

20/04/2018 Gaia DR2 media kit available now

The media kit for our second Gaia data release is now available. Today also two stories were published on the results from Gaia data release 1. Read about Gaia's surprising discoveries: from the Sun's neighbourhood to the distant universe and Gaia's surprising discoveries: scrutinising the Milky Way.

14/04/2014 Gaia tops 100 billion star transits

Today the Gaia main database indicated that we topped 100 billion star transits through the focal plane. With celebrate this event with a dedicated image of the week. An overview of the total amount of observations taken is available on this page.

05/04/2018 Precise object counts for Gaia Data Release 2

Ever wondered how many sources we will release exactly in Gaia DR2? No need to keep guessing, exact object counts were just released here. More information can also be found in the news item by ESA Science & Technology.

03/04/2018 The cat in Orion...

What do you seen when looking at this week's Space Science Image of the Week? A cat, a fox or even a shark?

21/03/2018 Gaia status update

Last month, ESA's Gaia satellite experienced a technical anomaly followed by a 'safe mode' event. After thorough examination, the spacecraft was successfully recovered and resumed normal scientific operations, while the mission team keeps investigating the exact cause of the anomaly. More information can be found here.

16/03/2018 Latest releases of GOG and GUMS

Gaia Object Generator 18 is now available also in HDF5 through this web page. Also a new version of the Gaia Universe Model Snapshot (GUMS-18) is now available from OBSPM. More information on Gaia tools can be found here.

16/03/2018 Release of the draft Gaia DR2 data model and passbands

To help scientists prepare for our second data release, a draft of the Gaia DR2 data model is provided for download along with some updates on the upcoming release. Available for download as well are our Gaia DR2 passbands. These are featured in our image of the week.

29/11/2017 Visualisation of a selection of asteroids detected by Gaia

Coordination Unit 4 of the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium is responsible for the processing of non-single stars, Solar System objects and extended objects. Gaia Data Release 2 will contain epoch astrometry for more than 13,000 known asteroids. The visualisation of these asteroids as detected by Gaia has just been published by ESA Science & Technology.

17/11/2017 How do you find a star cluster?

On 15 November a story was published on the ESA Science & Technology website called "How do you find a star cluster? Easy, simply count the stars". A story on the discovery of the first Gaia cluster: Gaia 1.

02/10/2017 Extra stars to help out the Triton occultation campaign

In order to facilitate earlier conducted Triton campaigns from September, we provide preliminary astrometry for an additional 334 stars available for download through the links below:

VOT format

CSV format

When using these data, please follow the acknowledgment and citation guidelines as given here.

Good luck with the observations!

30/09/2017 Gaia mission helps with Triton occultation observations

On Thursday 5 October an important and rare astronomical event will take place: Triton will be occulting a star (called UCAC4 410-143659 or GaiaDR2 2610107907030969600). This stellar occultation will be visible from Europe across the Atlantic to the USA. A predicted occultation path has been computed using the preliminary Gaia DR2 position and proper motion for this star.

The Triton position can, however, still be improved. In order to maximise the scientific output of the occultation event, we have decided to release astrometry for 119 stars in the field surrounding Triton at this moment. The most suitable stars between magnitudes 12 and 17 have been chosen for astrometric calibration purposes. Please note that full validation of the data is not yet done and therefore some caution is required when interpreting the results. Nevertheless, we believe the data will allow improvement of the occultation prediction.

Scientists using these data to improve Triton astrometry are encouraged to make their deduced positions public so that science return can be maximised for all groups observing the event. Please keep us informed of your efforts and results in this topic.

The 119 stars are available for download through the links below:

VOT format

CSV format

When using these data, please follow the acknowledgment and citation guidelines as given here.

Good luck with the observations!

14/09/2017 First birthday of Gaia Data Release 1

Exactly one year ago, we released our first data. Since the release, more than 170 refereed science papers used the Gaia DR1 data so far. If you are interested to check out any publications on Gaia, please have a look here.

31/08/2017 Press releases on close stellar encounters

Today several videos were released by ESA to accompany the press release "Close encounters of the stellar kind". Our image of the week item on this topic can be found here. Enjoy!

30/08/2017 Interview with Lennart Lindegren kicking off the Gaia Science Meeting in Lund.

Today a three-day meeting called "The science of Gaia and future challenges" kicks off in Lund, Sweden. Home of the Lund Observatory, an institute involved in the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC). The meeting also coincides with the retirement of Lennart Lindegren, one of Gaia's important faces. Here is in interview with him to start off this meeting with some in-depth knowledge on Gaia's history and Lennart's role in all of this. Thank you, Lennart, for your huge contribution to the Gaia mission and we are happy you will keep on working with us!

30/06/2017 Asteroid Day

On Asteroid Day we would like to draw your attention to the Gaia Follow-Up Network for Solar System Objects (FUN-SSO). About 600 potential discoveries of Solar System Objects have been reported up till now. Anyone at the right place on Earth at the right time with the right size of telescope can help confirm these potential discoveries. A list of active alerts can be found here.

If you subscribe to the network, you can enter your location and telescope details. There is an active call at the moment for following-up on a candidate! Grab your chance and be the first to confirm!

23/06/2017 Two Arthur C. Clarke Awards for Gaia teams

We are proud to announce that our Gaia teams won two Arthur C. Clarke awards, also known as Arthurs. The Industry/Project Team award went to Airbus Defence and Space "For the successful design and manufacture of the Gaia spacecraft and telescope which for the last 3 years has been accurately measuring the location and motion of the stars”.

The second award was given to the UK Gaia Science Team. They won the Space Achievement - Academic Study/Research award "For its role in processing and analysing data from the Gaia star mapping mission as its contribution to the European Data Processing and Analysis Consortium”.

This latter award was presented by UK/ESA Astronaut Tim Peake to Gerry Gilmore (UK Gaia PI), Martin Barstow and Simon Hodgkin, who received it on behalf of the wider UK team. The award is made of glass, and is based on the monolith in Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, with the same proportions (1:4:9).

09/06/2017 Future of the Orion constellation

A new video on the future of the Orion constellation was just released by ESA Science & Technology. It shows the movement of the stars in the sky for the coming 450,000 years, based on TGAS data. This a subset of Gaia DR1 consisting of those stars in the Hipparcos and Tycho-2 Catalogues for which a full 5-parameter astrometric solution is available.

In April another video was published showing the movement of the stars in the entire sky.