Gaia Mission News - Gaia
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.
08/04/2019 53rd ESLAB symposium kicks off
Today the 53rd ESLAB symposium "the Gaia universe" kicks off. The symposium is held at ESA/ESTEC in The Netherlands with topics ranging from stellar clusters to the impact to solar system objects and from dust maps to kinematics of the Milky Way.
07/04/2019 Gaia newsletter
The 6th issue of the Gaia newsletter just came out. Interested in the contents? Read through the newsletter here. Information on how to subscribe or unsubscribe to the Gaia newsletter 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.
20/03/2019 Updated: DPAC Services are back up
Due to some network issues at ESAC, some Gaia DPAC services like Gaia Jira, Gaia SVN and Nexus are down. We are working on this and hope to get our services back up soon. Update: all services are back up.
14/03/2019 Cosmos mailing lists: issue fixed now.
On Thursday 7 March around 18:00 we switched the Cosmos system to the new Liferay 7 version. This switch had an unexpected effect on the population of the Cosmos mailing lists. The population of these mailing lists was not stable since the switch and it is unclear which mailing lists were affected and which ones not. Personal email addresses were not affected, only mailing lists were affected.
However, the emails sent out to the lists in the past week may not have arrived properly. If it arrived with some people, it might not have arrived with all people. So do not assume your email reached the full list because you got a reply to it.
ACTION NEEDED for emails sent between Thursday 7 March 18:00 CET and Wednesday 13 March 13:00 CET.
-Please resend important emails you sent out to any Gaia mailing list ending with @cosmos.esa.int. Do this only if you initiated that email (so if you sent that email originally).
-If you used a mailing lists with @rssd.esa.int, the above is valid as well (rssd.esa.int is forwarded to cosmos.esa.int). Then correct your address book to replace all mailinglists ending with @rssd.esa.int into @cosmos.esa.int.
SUGGESTION for long threads:
-Resend only the latest email which contains the full conversation thread to minimize emails send around.
Our apologies for the inconvenience. This issue was solely caused by the Cosmos portal migration so there is no reason to think this will happen again any time soon
11/03/2019 Issues with Cosmos mailing lists
Currently we are investigating an issue with the population of Cosmos mailing lists. Not everyone of a team used to populate a Cosmos mailing list receives the email sent. You might need to resend emails at a later stage to the mailing list. We hope to solve this problem soon and will send around an email once mailing lists are again working as expected.
06/03/2019 With sadness we announce the passing of Jordi Torra
It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing away of Prof. Jordi Torra on February 26 2019. Jordi was one of the important movers of Gaia and in particular DPAC. His leadership of the early prototype for a Gaia data processing system and his community organizing efforts in Spain led to the many invaluable Spanish contributions to DPAC.
Jordi and the positive spirit in which he always approached any difficulties encountered along the way to make Gaia and DPAC happen will be very much missed. An obituary has been written by the Gaia team in Barcelona.
04/03/2019 Downtime for DPAC services and Gaia Cosmos
We are planning to migrate our Cosmos webpages to a new version of software, and at the same time, we will apply some patches for all services like Jira, Helpdesk and Wiki. This requires some downtimes.
On Wednesday 6 March from 16:00 to 19:00 CET most DPAC services will be down. Applications affected will be the Gaia Jira, Gaia Wiki and Gaia Helpdesk.
On Thursday 7 March, the Cosmos portal will be in maintenance from 8am CET for 30 minutes and thereafter frozen the entire day. This means that we will not be able to add news or updates on the website. Also, all portlets will be deactivated.
So on 7 March, you will not be able to use the Gaia people finder, Gaia people editor, any of the forms deployed on Gaia Cosmos nor the document numbering tool. The downtime also affects the self-registration tool or your ability to subscribe / unsubscribe from the Gaia newsletter.
The downtime on 7 March will not affect the DPAC services and you should be able to use Gaia Jira, Gaia Wiki, Gaia Helpdesk, SVN, etc. without any problems.
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.
15/02/2019 Opening for a software developer in the Gaia Barcelona research team
The Gaia team of the Universitat de Barcelona (IEEC – ICCUB) has an opening for a software developer. This team is involved in the simulations and data processing of astrometric and photometric data from the Gaia satellite, and is responsible of the Barcelona Data Processing Center, located in the Marenostrum supercomputer.
More information on this vacancy can be found here.
01/02/2019 Scientific programme of "The Gaia Universe" announced
The scientific programme of the 53rd ESLAB symposium 'the Gaia universe' is now online. Participants taking part in the pitch sessions can also review the schedule here. Next to oral presentations and pitch sessions, two poster sessions are held.
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.
21/01/2019 Gaia newsletter
An email was sent out recently to Gaia newsletter subscribers with instructions on how to keep receiving the Gaia newsletter. These instructions are explained on this page in more detail, with some answers to frequently asked questions.
29/12/2018 Movement of tiny galaxies surrounding the Milky Way
21/12/2018 The Gaia Mission Holiday song
We wish you all "Happy Holidays!" Want to know more on how we created this song? Read through today's story on the creation.
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
19/12/2018 Gaia's 5th launch anniversary
Today marks the 5th anniversary of the launch of Gaia into space. Relive this moment by watching the launch event at ESOC from 19 December 2013.
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
06/12/2018 Password reset required for all Gaia users from 6 December 2018 onwards.
From today forward, you will need to reset your password to be able to continue using Gaia services. If you experience problems accessing the Gaia Archive, Gaia Cosmos or Gaia DPAC services, please go to the Gaia Cosmos portal and follow the password reset process. Go to the top right corner and click on the sign in button. Then follow the path "Forgot your password?". You will receive a link at your email connected to your Gaia Cosmos account to reset your password. In case you are experiencing problems, please contact the Gaia Helpdesk.
Soon we will send out an extra message about the full procedure to follow.
Please be aware that access to SVN is synchronised with a delay of about 15 minutes. After the password reset, allow for some time before accessing SVN.
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
27/06/2018 Gaia DR2 Exploration Lab
This week is about exploring Gaia science in an interactive way. At the Gaia DR2 Exploration Lab, a group of scientists is brought together and mixed with Gaia experts for some hands-on experience with the new Gaia data.
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.
19/04/2018 Updates on Gaia DR2 and call for the media
A call for the media went out for the Gaia DR2 press event at ILA in Berlin on 25 April. More information can be found here. The press event will start at 11:00 CEST and will last until about 12:15 CEST. There will be live coverage of the event for which the link is available here.
The Gaia Archive will open access to the second data release of Gaia on 25 April at 12:00 CEST.
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.
05/04/2018 Gaia Archive down from 11 April to 25 April
In preparation of our second data release, the Gaia Archive will go down for an extended period, starting at 11 April 2018 12:00 CEST and opening again on 25 April with the release of the Gaia DR2 data.
While the Gaia Archive web interface will be down, access to Gaia DR1 data is still ensured through the bulk download of the full Gaia DR1 catalogue or the Gaia TGAS catalogue.
You can also make use of one of our partner data centres and access Gaia DR1 data through there.
While down, the Gaia Archive will show a page with more information on ways to access the data, and updates on the upcoming data release. On 25 April, the page will show you the way to the livestream of the press event and any resources published. This information will also be served from this page.
05/04/2018 Gaia session at EWASS
Today the symposium "Gaia: The billion-star galaxy census: at the threshold of Gaia data release 2" is held at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science 2018. Later today, Anthony Brown will give a presentation on the contents of Gaia Data Release 2.
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.
25/01/2018 Gaia Data Release 2 Update
ESA and the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium are happy to announce the date and contents of Gaia DR2. In three months time, on 25 April 2018, more than a billion parallaxes, proper motions and photometric fluxes will be made public. Accompanied with millions of radial velocities and astrophysical parameters, hundreds of thousands of variable star light curves and epoch astrometry of more than thirteen thousand asteroids, Gaia DR2 will be a major occasion for astronomers.
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.
22/11/2017 Gaia extension
The Science Programme Committee (SPC) has decided to extend the Gaia operations beyond the nominal 5 years until the end of 2020. Following the standard ESA science mission extension procedure this extension should be confirmed next year and a proposal for 2021-22 will be submitted for SPC approval.
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:
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:
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 1Exactly 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
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.