Gaia News

16/01/2020 Gaia Archive upgrades to https

Please be reminded that the Gaia Archive will only be served using https starting on 1 February 2020, this in order to improve security. Requests to the old http access point will automatically be redirected. However, existing scripts may fail to be rerouted. For example, you may experience problems with old astroquery versions or hard coded URLs. Please update astroquery, or replace http by https in your code when needed. Some examples can be found in the GUI Help => Command line access. Please contact the Gaia Helpdesk if you still experience problems.


15/01/2020 Updated version of the Gaia DR2 primer

The Gaia DR2 primer has been updated to version 1.1. Apart from fixing some typos, some extra explanation is given on the TCB and links were added to the guide-to-scientists videos. Today's added known issue can also be found in the primer now.


15/01/2020 Cross-match: Gaia DR1 neighbours close to high proper motion Gaia DR2 objects

Today we updated the Gaia DR2 known issues page with information on missing objects in the neighbourhood cross-match table with Gaia DR1 sources. This table contains the G-band magnitude difference, the angular distance, and an empirical metric combining both quantities (called “rank”), for all possible matches between Gaia DR1 and Gaia DR2 sources.

Please read through the new known issue carefully to see if it affects how you use Gaia data.


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.


14/11/2019 Gaia Archive upgraded to new version

Today, the Gaia Archive will be unavailable from 10:00 to 14:00 CET for the release of a new version of the Archive software (version 2.7). Please be aware that access methods to epoch photometry will be upgraded with minor changes in the output format and updates in access scripts might be needed. The help pages will be updated accordingly.


29/10/2019 Vacancy for a Gaia DPAC software developer in Cambridge, UK

The Gaia team at the Institute of Astronomy (Cambridge, UK) has an opening for a software developer. This team is involved in the data processing of photometric and low-resolution spectroscopy data from the Gaia space telescope, and is responsible of the Institute of Astronomy Data Processing Center.

More information on this vacancy can be found here.


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.


15/10/2019 Some DPAC services are down [Update: all is back up]

As of noon today, we noticed that some of our Gaia DPAC services are down. We are working towards solving this issue and hope to get things up as soon as possible. Update 14:00 CEST: The network at ESAC was down for about an hour, but has now been restored. All services are back to normal.


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.


09/09/2019 Vacancy: ESA Research Fellowships in Space Science

ESA has announced an opportunity for post-doctoral research fellowships linked to its science missions, including Gaia. Deadline to submit applications is 1 October 2019. More details can be found on the ESA Faculty Page and on the ESA Careers webpage.


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.


19/08/2019 Survey on the ESA Astronomy Science Archives

The ESA Astronomy Science Archives asks you to fill out a short anonymous survey in an effort to ensure that the Astronomy community are provided with the best possible services. The survey includes questions on the archives of EXOSAT, Gaia, Herschel, HST, ISO, Lisa Pathfinder, Planck, and XMM-Newton, as well as questions on the ESASky tool. The survey should not take more than a few minutes of your time and will help our teams at the ESAC Science Data Center to improve their services to you.

The survey remains open until mid September and results will be summarised online at the ESDC website.


30/07/2019 Opening for a software developer

The Gaia team at the Institute of Astronomy (Cambridge, UK) has an opening for a software developer. This team is involved in the data processing of photometric and low-resolution spectroscopy data from the Gaia satellite, and is responsible of the IoA Data Processing Center. More information on this vacancy can be found here.


30/07/2019 Service outages on 31 July 09:15-11:15 CEST

Due to maintenance activities, the following services will not be available on Wednesday 31 July 2019 between 09:15 and 11:15 CEST: Gaia Archive, Subversion (SVN), WebSVN, SVNSearch, Nexus, Jenkins, GOST, Mission Statistics, MDBDictionaryTool, MDBExplorer, MDBTimeline, GPDB, JiraVersionManager, and the various Decoders. The following DPAC services are NOT affected: JIRA, Wiki, Livelink (Content Server), and Gaia Helpdesk.


23/07/2019 Research fellowship opportunity

The INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri (Florence, Italy) offers a research fellowship to work on the flux calibration of the Gaia mission. The position is for one year and is possibly renewable up to a maximum of three years, depending on performance and funding availability. Deadline for applications is 31 July 2019. More details can be found here.


18/07/2019 Gaia newsletter issue 7

The new Gaia newsletter is out. It can also be found here.


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!


10/07/2019 Gaia Sky presentation at the 69th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting

From June 30 to July 5, 2019, 580 undergraduates, PhD students, and post-doc researchers from all over the world had the opportunity to meet 39 Nobel Laureates (from Physics, Chemistry, and Peace) in Lindau at Lake Constance (Bodensee), Germany.

On the last day of the meeting physics institutes from federal state Baden-Württemberg in the southwest of Germany presented their research during a boat trip to the island Mainau. At one of the most visited booths of this exhibition, Gaia Sky was presenting the Gaia mission and Gaia's second star catalogue with VR glasses. Many visitors, young scientists and Nobel Laureates were impressed by a virtual flight through the solar system with the Gaia satellite and the Milky Way with the stars of Gaia Data Release 2. A first reaction from the visitors when putting on the VR glasses was often a "wow"!

Left: Nobel Prize Laureate George Smoot tries out Gaia Sky. Image credit: T. Sagrista. Right: Ulrich Steinbach, Deputy minister of education in Baden-Württemberg. Image credit: Staatsministerium Baden-Württemberg

This entertaining way to explain the Gaia Mission was also presented through demos at IAU 2018 and EWASS 2019. If you were at one of the demos and want to learn more about the application, then visit either the Gaia Sky website from the Zentrum für Astronomie of the Heidelberg University or download the application from gitlab.


04/07/2019 Downtime for the Gaia Archive and some Gaia DPAC services

Next Monday 8 July between 10:00 and 14:00 CEST there will be a downtime affecting the Gaia Archive and the following Gaia DPAC services: SVN, Nexus, Gaia Observation Forecast Tool, Mission Stats, Jenkins, MDB, GPDB, JiraVersionManager, Decoders. DPAC services which will not be affected by this downtime are Gaia Jira, Gaia DPAC Wiki, Gaia Cosmos, Gaia Content Server and the Gaia Helpdesk.


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.


04/06/2019 Gaia DPAC Services downtime

Tomorrow 5 June 2019, between 16:30 and 19:30 CEST maintenance will be performed to the Cosmos infrastructure used to run the Gaia DPAC services. This means that the following DPAC services will be down during that period: Gaia Helpdesk, Gaia Jira and Gaia DPAC wiki. Some other Gaia web applications might be affected. However, Gaia SVN, Gaia Content Server, Gaia Cosmos and Gaia Archive should all remain accessible. UPDATE: the downtime also affects the data release documentation that comes along with the data on the Gaia Archive.


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.


13/05/2019 Update on the Gaia DPAC content server (livelink)

You may have experienced some problems accessing our Gaia DPAC documents on the Gaia content server (Gaia Livelink). Since the migration of the content server, you need to access the Gaia DPAC documents in a different way when you follow the URLs from the email alert. Please follow the following procedure:

  1. Go to Gaia Cosmos and login
  2. Go the DPAC Services —> Livelink / Content Server and click the link to enter the content server.
  3. The overview page of our Gaia content server opens now. Now you can access the documents by either:
    1. follow the links given in the weekly alerts mailing to access the documents.
    2. click the “Valid” link under “All Gaia Documents” and a page with all Gaia documents opens with the newest issues at the top.

Please be aware that this is the new procedure to access content server documents from now on. If you skip step 2 and then follow the links from the alerts email, you will arrive at a page to enter login details to the content server. Trying to login through this login page will give an error.

[Update 14-05-2019] the below issues have been solved now.

Apart from the new procedure that one needs to follow from now on, we are still experiencing some hickups with the system which could cause the following to happen:

  • Slow loading of the document
  • Error when the loading of the document times out
  • Strange fonts in the PDF documents
  • Strange scribbles in the PDF documents

We are aware of these issues and we are working together with the supplier of this software to find a solution for these. There is alwasy the option to download the document and the downloading of documents works as usual. We are sorry for the inconvenience this causes and we hope to get things fixed soon.


13/05/2019 Gaia Archive version 2.6

Today a new version of the Gaia Archive is rolled out. A temporary downtime of the Gaia Archive is expected between 10:30 and 12:30 CEST, after which you will be able to enjoy the upgraded performance of our Gaia Archive when retrieving your Gaia data!


08/05/2019 Gaia DPAC content server

Due to the recent migration, there are some hickups with respect to the access to Gaia DPAC content server documents. Please be aware that the documents are still accessible if you go to the content server through the DPAC services on the Gaia Cosmos page. Then you can search for the specific document you are interested in and read them. Easy search is to open the folder with all Gaia DPAC documents and then search with ctrl-f or cmd-f for the last part of the code. We hope to get things fixed and back to normal soon, but it might take till next week to get the solution in place.



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 Do this only if you initiated that email (so if you sent that email originally).

-If you used a mailing lists with, the above is valid as well ( is forwarded to Then correct your address book to replace all mailinglists ending with into

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.


08/01/2019 update: Gaia Archive is fully accessible now

There were some issues when accessing the Gaia Archive earlier today, but these have been fixed now.


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.

Selection of some interesting news from past years


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.



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